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The Bible in Public Schools

July 31st, 2007 | 3 Comments | Posted in headlines

I was reading an article in Time magazine today while I was patiently waiting for my client during his doctor’s appointment about how more schools in America are teaching the bible as an educational source of literary study instead of a religious study. It made the argument for how more schools should teach the bible because it has such a strong implication in the Western world as a whole that one cannot be considered “educated” if one has not read the bible, at least on an educational, intellectual level.

At first, I got a little defensive, because I’m very much for the separation of church and state (all churches, mind you, and not just Christian ones). However, the more I read the article, the more it made sense. The bible is on my list of Books To Read for purely the reason of wanting to educate myself more on what the hell the big hype is all about. I agree that because it is such a dominant book in our world, we should at least know what it is even if we are not religiously bound to it.

Likewise, I also believe that we shouldn’t stop there on the bible. We should be teaching (not preaching, mind you — there is a big difference between the two) about other sources of religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Confucianism, etc. We should be teaching our children the differences and the similarities between these religions as a basis of education, and from there I think that is how we can combat religious hate and ignorance.

Many of us are religious extremes because we fear what we do not understand of other religions and other ways of life and cultures. If we are open to teaching and being educated, I have a feeling that we would be more open to how others live their lives because we’ll see that they’re not so different from our own. We’re all of the same earth, no matter what we may call it.

iplagiarismcheck

July 31st, 2007 | 1 Comment | Posted in encompassed

After approximately 8 years of higher education, I know the true value of plagiarism. Some of my classmates over the years have gotten really bard marks on their papers and tests because they were founded to have plagiarized other people’s work. Worse yet, I’ve heard of students who have been suspended or expelled from the university altogether for copying other people’s words. That’s a whole educational career down the toilet because someone can’t do their own work and write their own paper and cite appropriately — give credit where credit is due.

Sometimes, however, plagiarism happens by accident. While this is hard to believe, and may be a little more rare than the intentional incidents, it is good to know that we can check our work before we turn them in. Through iplagiarismcheck.com, you can use their software to check whole documents under several approaches and categories: the internet (blogging sites, online articles, etc.), published work (books, educational journal articles, etc.), and even through subtle approaches that matches synonyms to actual original work. Rephrasing a sentence in your own words by using similar words in their same sentence structure is still considered plagiarism, and employers and schools/universities have every right to kick or fire that person for doing so.

Nowadays, being original is so important, whether it be in the blogging industry, or the educational industry, or even the employment industry. When you can’t create original work, what good are you to our society? I take this very seriously because I am a writer, and a long-time student. With this site, I am grateful that I can always make sure I’m not even “accidentally” plagiarizing, as well as keep an eye on others’ work to make sure I’m reading original pieces of work when I surf the internet or read online articles or journal articles.

Check out iPlagiarismCheck.com - Signup Now!Here is the press release for the site:

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Pat Tillman

July 31st, 2007 | 1 Comment | Posted in headlines

Dave and I have been keeping an eye on the Pat Tillman news story. When he died in what was considered enemy fire a couple of years ago (coincidentally right before the last presidential election), no one looked twice about honoring him and hating the Iraqi enemies more. It made sense, considering Pat Tillman was a big-time NFL player who turned down millions of dollars to join the military to fight in Iraq after 9-11 happened. He was considered America’s hero, and he wanted to do the right thing to support his country. He, among many others, was all for the war in Iraq.

I honestly felt for his passion. Although I didn’t agree with the reasons behind it, I too felt that he was a hero — still is a hero — willing to put his money where his mouth is, willing to talk the walk, willing to back up his beliefs. He believed in the war to help save freedom, and he went to war for his belief. I appreciate people like him.

So when he died, it was a tragedy to us all, for all of us who were both against the war, and for the war. And then we find out that The Pentagon released that he actually died under “friendly fire” on our own side. “Friendly fire” is a nice way of saying our own men killed him. So then America took a second look and we were still very accepting. “Oh well.. as long as it was an accident, we won’t question it.”

Like Jessica Lynch’s story, we should have questioned it. Now, even Time magazine has reported the falsifying evidence against mere “friendly fire.” It turns out Pat Tillman’s gun shot wounds were actually numerous, and at close range. His diary is being kept locked away and won’t be released to his family because it may have incriminating evidence against the war. He had also made an appointment with Noam Chomsky (an active speaker against the war and all things Bush) to speak in regards of “Veterans against the war.” He was promptly killed when he started speaking up against the Iraq war and removing his heroic support.

Now, apparently, it has been shown that The Pentagon and the White House have been keeping documents that pertain to the true details of his death. They won’t release it and Bush is giving the reason of “executive power.”

“Because I’m president, and I said so.”

Numerous people who were on the inside and working with Tillman have refused to step forward (out of fear? or what? I don’t know) to speak about what they know. Donald Rumsfeld has refused to testify about what he knows of this whole ordeal. And then he agreed to testify only through email and by an employee (which leads me to ask: how the hell is that a real testimony?).

Many of you may know that I am not a fan of the military, partly due to its violent creation and its nature in the first place, but mostly due to the crap that have been going on in the military. This being one of them. If suspicions are true, Pat Tillman was ordered to be murdered by his higher ups for being so actively against the war, and making Bush look like a total idiot. He was going to use his fame to speak up against Bush and the “war on terrorism” in Iraq specifically, right before the presidential election. “Friendly fire” is one, maybe two, shots that were fatal. Murder is when there are multiple shots throughout the body — arms, legs, and chest area — as well as several in the head, AFTER Tillman identified himself as an American soldier on the allied side.

We want the truth, and want them to admit it. Can we have the truth now?

Superbad!

July 31st, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in encompassed

Do any of you used to watch Arrested Development? That kid who was the son of the main character — I don’t even remember his name anymore, but he was absolutely hilarious on that show! I always wondered what he would do next in his career, so when I saw the new commercials to Superbad, I was so excited. Actually, both Dave and I were jumping for joy because we both adored “Arrested Development,” and if this movie is anything like the humor on that show, it’s going to be pretty darn great.

They are showing some really awesome exclusive clips from the movie, and from what I can see, they are so darn hilarious. We might even end up owning this movie if we like it that much! I love that kid! He’s so darn cute and funny! From the youtube videos too, this movie is just going to be hilarious. I can’t wait to see it!

And if you’re someone like me who loves accessories when a good movie comes out (especially nerdy ones like wallpapers and ring tones), I highly suggest you check out this Superbad website.

Darn. Just looking at these clips is making me giggle out loud. That kid is so cute. I hope he makes it big!

Concentric Groupware

July 30th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in encompassed

If businesses popping all over the place online these days, it’s important to find great DNS groupware services, such as at Concentric They not only provide reliable and successful DNS hosting and DNS services, they also provide anti-spam service and email security for professional websites and businesses. Going with them can prove to be one of the smartest things anyone can do with their online portfolio or business! They offer so many online collaboration tools that it’s hard to turn such dynamic services away when you’re looking for exactly just that. Their prices are affordable, and their support is reliable. It’s hard to find such a great combination in online groupware and DNS hosting.

New Prospects

July 30th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in visualization

Some interesting new prospects coming up, and I’m not even talking about re-decorating our home. Hah. Though, of course, I am uber excited about our new coffee table coming in. I got it at a very good price at overstock.com (can’t imagine spending oodles of money on a coffee table O.o). It looks awesome too, so I can’t wait.

Anyway, boy, that was a big digression of topic. The interesting new prospects involve my professional life, mainly the prospect that I will be going back to school within the next couple of years, on top of starting a family with Dave and buying a home. I’m not entirely sure how we’re going to manage all of that in one well swoop, but we’ll definitely try. It’s definitely exciting, y’know. :D

eperks.com

July 30th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in encompassed

Wouldn’t it be cool if you can look up what you want out of a vendor, and on top of that after you’ve done your research, you get a discount or perks when you decide to use that vendor? Well, the neat thing is, the service is now available through ePERKS.com. It is an online service marketplace for consumers who are looking for real estate, buying a car, home improvement, and more. The way it works is that you get “perks” or discounts (such as 4% off any new car), or a brand new TV or other similar gadgets, when you sign up with the vendor or professional you are interested in. It finally pays off to do research before spending your money. Not only will you get what you want, but you’d be saving because you were smart about it. In fact, one of the big perks I’ve heard about through eperks.com is that you can even get up to 50% off of home improvement services if you go through them! Wow, what a deal!