Archive for November, 2008

Don’t worry about fruit, just eat your veggies

November 28, 2008

Have you had your daily dose of vegetables and vegetables?  That sounds funny when you say it, but two weeks ago I over heard a conversation that made me curious, and I just had to research it.  What I found out may just change the way you view the produce department at your local grocery store.
The conversation was between a woman at the church I go to, and a chef.  They were discussing whether there was a difference between fruits and vegetables.  We’ve all heard the debate about the tomato.  This debate landed in the Supreme Court (Why I’ll never know) over whether the tomato was a fruit or vegetable.  Their verdict; it is a vegetable, which is correct, but it is also a fruit.
According to every dictionary I could get my hands on the definition of “vegetable” is the edible part of the plant.  In other words, the only criteria for vegetables are 1: it comes from a plant. And 2: it’s edible.  It is a general term which includes all edible plant material, squash, peppers, and apples, whatever.  If it is in the produce department, it IS a vegetable.
You may be scratching your head now wondering, “What is a fruit then?”
According to the same dictionaries, the definition of “fruit” is the seed bearing part of a plant.  This of course includes everything like apples, cherries, peppers, and squash.  Literally anything with seeds.  This definition also includes poisonous plants, not something you want on the dinner plate.
Even though Mushrooms are considered fungus, they have still been classified as vegetables.
The medical industry has been largely responsible for the spreading of this misconception, by classifying them separately on the food pyramid.  I’m certain that that is 99 percent of the reason so many people have become confused.  Before you say, “That can’t be right, doctors don’t lie.”  Just remember, doctors are people too and they make mistakes like all the rest of us.  Even if their use of the words is wrong, you still need your vegetables, so they aren’t lying, just misinformed.

And eat your vegetables.


Help take the bite out of cyberbullies

November 28, 2008

13 year old Megan Meier committed suicide.  Hung herself with a belt in the closet, because a boy on the internet told her, the world would be better off without her in it.
Today, 49 year old Lori Drew was found guilty on three counts of misdemeanor computer crimes, with a sentence of 3 years in jail, and 300,000 dollars in fines.  What makes both of these stories important, and connected, is that Lori Drew, 49 year old mother from Missouri, is also the little boy that basically convinced Megan Meier to commit suicide because Megan made some hurtful comments to her daughter in school.
Lori felt justified in creating a fake myspace account to basically seduce Megan online, and then crush her.  Apparently her ultimate goal succeeded.  The resulting suicide must have felt like icing on the cake to Lori who wanted to destroy Megan for just a few words said to her daughter.
Cyber bullies, regardless of age, always feel justified for their actions. The victims of these computer crimes are made to feel that they are the ones starting the fights when it’s the bullies that actually start the trouble.  If the victims are driven to leave the internet, or even commit suicide, the bullies get their happy feeling, and they feel powerful, even though in real life they are powerless cowards.
Cyber bullies, away from the computer, have usually been victims themselves, and feel that they can they can somehow regain their power by using the anonymity of the computer to make someone else feel lower than they feel.
As a result of this case, Missouri has become the first state to adopt anti-cyber harassment laws, which promise harsh punishment for cyber bullies.  I believe this is something very important to me, since my wife is being constantly harassed by cyber bullies.  While she has me and her family to help her through, not every one has someone to help them.  I think that every state should adopt laws against these types of computer crimes.
If you feel as I do, write to your state representatives, and senators to make a law protecting victims of these kinds of computer crimes.  Another thing you can do is if you go into chat rooms or see any kind of harassment, report them.  If enough people report them they can lose their accounts.  If people pull together and get cyber bullies banned, we can take the sting out of their words and make the internet a fun and safe place for people to interact.


inspiration from an unlikely source

November 27, 2008

Blindness.  It means sightless, or greatly impaired in vision.  Usually, it refers to physical sight, but what about your inner sight.  This is the kind of sight that allows you to see beyond a person’s imperfections, and see the person behind the imperfections.
To many people in Denver, the homeless were like rats in New York.  They’re numerous and something to be ignored.  Sure, occasionally you would give them a little spare change, but that was either to get rid of them, or to make you feel good about yourself, but it had nothing to do with helping them.
I used to work at Burger King as an opener.  Every morning, after the store opened, a homeless woman came in to get her morning coffee, and read the newspaper.  Like any homeless person, she was left alone.  Most of the other customers didn’t want anything to do with her.
I worked there 5 days a week and I started carrying on a conversation with her.  I learned a lot from her.  She graduated from college, became a professor at a university, and married her husband.  She was married for 10 years, and then he died of cancer.  After that happened, the bills started piling up, and they became overwhelming.  Eventually she lost her job, and she could no longer afford her home.  She eventually became homeless and spent cold nights in shelters.  She learned at a young age never to beg, so she spent most of her days collecting cans from trash cans and cashing them in, and that was her only way of getting any money.
The more I talked with her, the more I realized that she was very intelligent.  She wasn’t living the ideal life, but she was able to survive through all the problems in her life with her self esteem intact.
I don’t believe in hero worship, and I don’t idolize anyone, but I can honestly say that she was an inspiration to me to never give up on my dreams.
Before you turn a blind eye to the homeless, remember that they are people with dreams just like you, but for whatever reason, they ended up on the streets, and it isn’t always from laziness. And just remember, some of them are intelligent.  So don’t jump to any conclusions, and make an effort to show them they are worth something.  That could be you some day.


Hello world!

November 27, 2008

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