Land Fish

8:50 pm.scan0004 (1)

You know what I love about looking through my mom’s old stuff? Finding random, fun stuff.

Like this photo.

I just scanned this onto the computer (ah, such wonders of technology!). That is a fish, in my mom’s backyard. I don’t know the story behind it, and my mom doesn’t remember. But, it is funny. I laughed when I saw it, and I asked my mom if I could have it. She gave it to me.

In case you can’t tell (or missed it when I said it before), that’s a large fish, lying in the grass (“I caught you a delicious bass”…gotta love Napoleon Dynamite). The shadow is most likely my grandfather, taking the picture. The dog’s name was Odie; she and her brother had just found it, but my grandmother made them get rid of it.

So, yeah. A fish.

I just wanted to share this obscure photo with you guys. It’s a little over thirty years old–in the bottom corner, it reads “NOV 82”.

So, hope you enjoyed this photo. I did 🙂

Oh, Hello There.

7:50 pm.
Oh, hello there. How are you all today? I’m rather well. We had a snow day today–for any of those unfamiliar with the term, a snow day is when the Higher Ups decide that the winter weather is too Treacherous to have school. And, as always, a snow day on a Monday, thus lengthening the weekend is much welcomed. 😉
Yes, I know I’ve been away for a while…my apologies for that. But, wanna see something funny? Oh, sure you do! Here:

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This is how cats get cozy–snuggled up against a Barbie doll. Oh, Noodle, you silly bean you.
Have a great week, all. 🙂

Ooh, Double Significance!

10:27 am.

Wowzers, today is significant for two reasons. As many of you probably know, this is Martin Luther King Junior Day. On this day his birthday, we commemorate all he did for the Civil Rights Movement and equality between black and white people.

If you want to hear the audio of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, his most famous and memorable speech, here is a link: “I Have A Dream”

Now, today is doubly significant because today is also the day that my country’s president Barack Obama is being re-inaugurated for his second term as President. I think it’s highly appropriate for his inauguration ceremony to be held on MLK day, he being the first black president of the United States. Don’t you?

Trivia time! Did you know that President Obama is the only president in U.S. history to take the Oath of Office four times? His first time was on his first Inauguration day; the second time was because Chief Justice Roberts had messed up the words the first time, so the President had to take the Oath again; the third time was yesterday: it is in the Constitution that the president must be inaugurated on the 20th of January at noon; however, yesterday being a Sunday, the actual ceremony is being held today, and the President will take the Oath for the fourth time today.

1.) Happy Inauguration Day, America!

2.) Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone!

Data and Ideas

6:24 pm.

mass-shooting-legally

This graph here clearly rectifies the argument that guns used in mass shootings are obtained illegally. Obviously, the majority of them are obtained legally (note the tall orange guy to the left), which leads me to this inference: people are not being checked thoroughly enough before they buy guns, because 79% (49/62) of the guns used in these mass shootings were obtained within the law. (graph source)

Now, I don’t think we should ban guns. That’s not realistic–not only would it never pass, but it would not end the issue of gun violence. Banning guns will just move the guns to the black market. Look at Prohibition: did banning alcohol end drinking? No, it just led to organized crime and bootlegging. If guns are banned, people will just resort to obtaining them illicitly.

So, what we need to do is initiate a system of background checks. We need to check what a person’s done in their life-are they an ex-convict? Are they mentally ill? Are they predisposed to engage in gun violence for any other reason? We need to make sure people with these ‘qualifications’, so to speak, can’t obtain guns that they could use to kill innocent people. I mean, come on: it’s just common sense.

Malala Yousafzai

12:48 pm.

In my school library, I saw the Person of the Year issue of Time magazine. We have it at home (my mom is a subscriber), but I hadn’t read it in depth before. So, with a forty-minute lunchtime with nothing planned to do, I picked it up and flipped through it. I ended up reading the article on Malala Yousafzai, who was Time‘s Person of the Year Number Two.

Let me tell you, this girl is amazing.

She is a 15-year-old Pakistani girl who is the daughter of a newsman, a precocious learner, and a role model for girls, leaders, education advocates, and everyone in between.

She spoke out loudly and proudly against the Taliban and against the lack of education for girls in Pakistan and developing countries all around the world. When she was just 11 years old (eleven!), she gave a speech titled “How Dare the Taliban Take Away My Basic Right to Education?” People feared for her because of her “confronting the Taliban so brazenly”, as it’s worded in the article in Time (page 100).

Malala has made so much happen for education. She has supporters including Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister, Megan Smith, a Google Vice President, and Mark Kelly,  former astronaut and husband of former senator of Arizona, Gabby Giffords, who also survived a shooting to the head. These supporters helped to found the Malala Fund, named after her, to give grants to organizations and people working in education.

Because of her outspokenness and lack of backing down, the Taliban ordered her to be assassinated. On 9 October 2012, an assassin shot her in the head while she was riding in a “school bus” (no more than a glorified truck–Pakistan was, at that point, spending a mere 2% of GDP on education). However, the bullet grazed her brain, and went behind her left eye, down to her jaw, and ended up being lodged just above her left shoulder blade.

She is was recovering in a hospital in Birmingham, England, where many gifts and cards have been sent to her. Her family has received over 13,000 dollars to fund her recovery! She had been in the hospital for two months, and was just discharged from the hospital on the fifth this month. Instead of the Taliban silencing her, they did the opposite: her story and words are now more powerful than ever.

Malala is more than a girl–she is a hero. She is so inspiring, brave and courageous. She risked her life for her cause, and she’s on the road to recovery. She is just plain amazing. That’s why I signed this online petition to nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize–Malala deserves it so much. It only needs 146 more signatures on it.

This girl is going to move a mountain some day, I just know it. Even if she stays in England where there is more security for her, and even if she retires from activism and raises a family, her message will not quiet or slow down. I am honoured to be growing up at the same time as she is.