"80 percent of women who experienced mostly negative emotions still felt that abortion was the right choice for them."
Residents of Washington, DC who are found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana will no longer be charged with a crime after the city council voted Tuesday to reduce the penalty to a small fine.
The members voted 10-1 to drop possession of an ounce or less of cannabis to a civil fine of $25. The council did preserve a law making it illegal to smoke in public, although the maximum penalty for that infraction has been reduced from up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine to up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. That penalty is the same one facing residents who are stopped in public with an open can of alcohol.
The measure is now in the hands of DC Mayor Vincent Gray, who reportedly plans to authorize the legislation. It will then make its way to Congress. The US Congress has veto authority over laws proposed in the District of Colombia but has only done so in three instances since 1979.
(NASA) The eggs from this chicken may form into stars. The above pictured emission nebula, cataloged as IC 2944, is called the Running Chicken Nebula for the shape of its greater appearance. The image was taken recently from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia and presented in scientifically assigned colors. Seen near the center of the image are small, dark molecular clouds rich in obscuring cosmic dust. Called Thackeray’s Globules for their discoverer, these “eggs” are potential sites for the gravitational condensation of new stars, although their fates are uncertain as they are also being rapidly eroded away by the intense radiation from nearby young stars. Together with patchy glowing gas and complex regions of reflecting dust, these massive and energetic stars form the open cluster Collinder 249. This gorgeous skyscape spans about 70 light-years at the nebula’s estimated 6,000 light-year distance.
What if, however, humans exceed animals in their capacity for violence precisely because they speak? As Hegel was already well aware, there is something violent in the very symbolisation of a thing, which equals its mortification. This violence operates at multiple levels. Language simplifies the designated thing, reducing it to a single feature. It dismembers the thing, destroying its organic unity, treating its parts and properties as autonomous. It inserts the thing into a field of meaning which is ultimately external to it. When we name gold “gold,” we violently extract a metal from its natural texture, investing into it our dreams of wealth, power, spiritual purity, and so on, which have nothing whatsoever to do with the immediate reality of gold.Slavoj Žižek, Violence (via chaambler)
(My son) Zaki started having seizures when he was 4 months old. He has a rare, severe form of epilepsy known as Doose syndrome. By the time he was 5 years old, he had had 500,000 seizures. He had been through 17 pharmaceuticals. He was receiving hospice, palliative services, and his prognosis was poor. He was having an average of 200 seizures a day — seizures in which he would stop breathing.
(Now Zaki is) 16 months seizure-free.
You get to the point where you’re just waiting for a new drug (to be approved by) the FDA. I had heard of another family that was using medicinal cannabis in California, so I started researching — just like I did everything else that he tried.
(Photo: TechKnow/Al Jazeera America)
Bryan Stevenson’s effort began with detailed research: Among more than 2,000 juveniles (age 17 or younger) who had been sentenced to life in prison without parole, he and staff members at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), the nonprofit law firm he established in 1989, documented 73 involving defendants as young as 13 and 14. Children of color, he found, tended to be sentenced more harshly.
"The data made clear that the criminal justice system was not protecting children, as is done in every other area of law," he says. So he began developing legal arguments "that these condemned children were still children." - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.
Photograph by: Steve Liss
Ed note: Our American Ingenuity Awards page has more on Bryan Stevenson and the other inspirational winners.
A friend who wishes to remain anonymous
What happened in Ukraine is tragic. The people of that country, after facing some incredibly violent protests, managed to replace the government with a provisional one. Yanukovych has been kicked out of the country, and really, there’s no chance he could ever get back in power, nor should he ever be allowed. Clearly his choices were not the choices of the people. But while the Ukrainians still consider themselves a unified Ukraine, let’s not kid ourselves. This was/is a revolution.
To put this in perspective let’s use the United States as an example. Let’s say that the far right, after having to deal one too many times with President Obama, started massive protests. And for whatever reason, let’s say the protests are successful and Obama is forced to leave the country. Would that not be a revolution?
Now here comes the tricky part. Once this revolution takes place, I imagine not everyone would be happy with the results. There are many states that do support Obama and would be happy to have him continue to lead them. There are other states that want neither Obama, nor the Far Right group that overthrew him. Should they be forced to go along with this change in government?
A revolutionist should not be so proud to imagine that she/he speaks for the entirety of a nation. And whenever there is a revolution it is only right that each and every person makes the decision to follow or oppose that revolution with a free choice, a choice made without coercion or threat. It is a moral right to allow a person to decide the path they will take to the future. Because isn’t that the foundation of a revolution?
So now we go back to Ukraine, particularly Crimea. Ukraine has taken the steps to overthrow their government and follow a pro-western path. They have a right to choose that and Yanukovych was wrong to force the issue. But Crimea, has decided instead to go down a different path; even to go as far as setting up their own interim government. Should Crimea be forced to go with Ukraine?
Regardless of strategic reasons, economic opportunities, or anything else that the U.S., the E.U. or Russia can get out of Crimea, the people of Crimea should be allowed to choose their own future. If they happen to choose Russia so be it.
Russia should have no “boots on the ground” in Ukraine. Ukraine should have no say in whether Crimea should continue to be part of Ukraine, and the U.S. definitely does not have the moral authority to determine the future of Ukraine and in turn Crimea.
Let’s try democracy. Let Crimea decide what they want, and if it turns out they want to be an autonomous nation, well, then we should congratulate them. It’s what I would want for my state if the Far Right ever took over Washington with violent protests and I’m sure it’s what Crimea wants, if we were to give them the chance of voicing their opinion.
A form study, photographed by Me on Fuji 100c.
My teenaged daughter has recently started a webcomic. Could you give her one piece of advice that has helped you and one piece of advice that absolutely has not? Please indicate which is which. Thanks!
Good advice: Make your comics and put them online, then make more then keep doing that without stopping for at least 2 or 3 years before you expect ANYTHING in terms of recognition or readership.
This accomplishes several things. 1) It keeps you from viewing your work as precious. Don’t obsess over one piece, draw and redraw, correct and perfect it all while never posting it. You get better by making MORE comics. Not by making the same comic over and over. 2) It gets you accustomed to the cycle of creativity. Have an idea, refine it, make it, put it up, repeat. 3) It gets you accustomed to taking and responding to feedback and criticism. The more work you post the more readers you’ll get and the more opinions you will start to receive directly or indirectly about your work.
More good advice: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be kind. Be kind online, be kind in person, be kind to your readers, be kind to your fellow artists, be kind to the world. This is important above all else because 1)Being an online persona means YOU are the product you are selling. If your product is a total dickbag, the only people who buy it will be total dickbag enthusiasts. 10 years down the road and you realize all of your readers are assholes and you’ve hand picked them because of how you acted. 2) Your peers talk about you when you aren’t around. They decide who to work with on collaborations, who to bring in on new opportunities and who share hotels/booths/wonderful experiences with at conventions. Word will get around SO VERY FAST if you are not a nice person and you will start to wonder why fun projects keep passing you by. 3) Can anyone honestly come up with a reason to NOT always be kind? When looking for a default behavior, you can’t do much better than this.
Even More good advice (lightning round): Don’t worry about merch. Worry about making good comics. Dont worry about getting more readers. Worry about making good comics. Don’t EVER compare your perceived success to that of your peers. You don’t know their situation, or how they came about what you think they have that you might want for yourself. Just worry about making good comics. Never envy your peers money, readers or success (sounds a lot like the last one right? That’s because it’s super important.) Instead, envy how hard they’ve worked and try to emulate that. Also, just worry about making good comics. Don’t try to find success by doing exactly what another artists has done. We all have different paths to success and you’ll do better finding your own rather than copying someone else (in art as well as in business). Also just worry about making good comics.
The worst piece of advice I ever got: Get an invitation to the cool kids table, i.e. Get in with this certain clique and you’ll be instantly welcomed into the secret world of webcomic success. This secret club, community, group, whatever you want to call it DOES NOT EXIST. I spent too many years waiting for artists I admired to take notice of me that I eventually started to obsess over making them like me. Spoilers, it never happened and I had nothing to show for all that worry and grief. I gave absolute strangers power over my mental well being that they didn’t even want and certainly didn’t deserve. Don’t worry about making “powerful” friends. You will make more friends in this industry by BEING a good friend first. Offer help, offer support, share your audience with artists whose work you admire. Be honest, be genuine and be kind. Repeat that 1000X in your head every day until it’s the only thing you even understand anymore.
By the way, the person who gave me that terrible advice was me.
Oy Doko! Read that first piece of advice part several times… read it again and again and again until you get it. Two great pages amount to nothing if it takes you years to accomplish them. JUST DO IT
I need to stop worrying of what people will think of my work. T-T