Friday, May 16, 2014

10 Things You May Not Have Known: Part Two

Image courtesy of Cutes Paw
The other day I was scrolling through some of my old blog posts, and stumbled upon one I did a couple months ago. It was called 10 Things You May Not Have Known + Poverty, and it's probably my favorite post on this blog. Since I enjoyed writing it so much, I figured I'd make a part two, so without further ado, here's another set of ten things you may not have known.

1. All US presidents, dead or alive, have worn glasses (just not necessarily in public).
2. Duck's quacks don't echo
3. Switzerland has four official languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansh.
4. Penguin's propose by presenting their partners with a pebble. They also stay together forever.
5. Winston Churchill was born in the women's bathroom.
6. The French allow their people to marry the dead.
7. The world's most practiced religion is Christianity.
8. Obama is left handed (apparently left-handed people are smarter, which makes sense). 
9. A larger percentage of North America is wilderness than Africa. 
10. Coconut oil reduces seizures in children with epilepsy. 

So what's the purpose of all these random facts? No, it's not to bore you to death. Actually, the opposite. 

I want to make the point that everyone is smart in their own way. Some people may know lots of information about penguins. Other people may be really good at understanding people. No matter what, it’s pointless to criticize people for not knowing certain things. I know a fair amount about history and politics (in other words, I’m “book” smart). However, I know next to nothing about horses and texting slang (these are just examples). A couple months ago my friend texted me GTG and I had to Google what it meant (for the record, it means “go to go”). 

However, because I love academia, I do well in school. Majority of my teachers like me (or at least they act like they do). On the other hand, some of the kids in my school know a lot about skiing, but hate academia, so they don’t do as well in school. That doesn’t mean they’re destined to a life of homelessness when they’re older, like the school system thinks. They just learn differently. 

So next time you (or I) call someone “dumb”, think about all of the great things and knowledge you’re not seeing and reconsider. 

France Fun Facts

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Happiness for All

Image courtesy of Kevin and Amanda
Guess what the happiest country in the world is?

Answer: Denmark (what is it with these Scandinavian countries being such great places to live?)

Despite paying insane amounts of money in taxes (think 60%), Danes are very happy people. Here's why:

1. It's a great place to be a mother (or a father). Families receive a total of 52 weeks parental leave. Although 18 weeks of that is allocated to the mother, and two weeks is allocated to the father, the rest of the time is left for Danish families to use as they need. And get this: families who adopt get 48 weeks of parental leave! On top of that, Denmark has inexpensive (or free, depending on your income) childcare.

2. Danish citizens have free access to health care.

3. They get their exercise in through biking. A report shows that half of the Danish population commutes to school or work by biking. Half. Bet they have a low obesity rate.

4. Danish citizens feel a responsibility to be good people. They believe in health care for all and caring for the poor.

5. Danish citizens are very involved in the government. In the recent elections, almost 90% of them voted! Meanwhile, less than 60% of Americans vote.

(I found all information above here)

After looking at the list above, I think America needs a reform. Although I'm a bit iffy about giving up 60% of my families income in taxes, I don't think America would have to do that in order to have a government like this. If everybody in America (with exceptions for those earning below the poverty level) was made to pay 20-25% in taxes (including you, Donald Trump), we could have a government with free health care and long maternity/paternity leaves. All the extra money coming in from billionaires (who are currently paying ~5%), would make up for the fact we're not paying as big a percent.

I realize a lot of people don't want to give up their money. I get that. But I still believe that we should give to the poor and support them. If you were homeless and poor on the streets, you would hope that your fellow citizens would help you out. If I was poor, I would not want to be in America. Let's change that so America becomes a happy place for everybody.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Death Row

Thanks to Stella the Star for giving me this idea. 
Image courtesy of Cardinal Health

Today we're going to be talking about the death penalty. Yup, the death penalty. Happy times. 

In case you didn't know, here are some "fun" facts about the law. 

1. It exists in 32 states, including Utah (no surprise there), California, Florida, and Pennsylvania. 
2. According to, it "costs more to execute a person than it does to keep them in prison for life." 
3. Types of capital punishment include hanging, lethal injection, firing squad, gassing, and electrocution. 
4. The South, a region with 80% of the countries executions, has the highest murder rate in the US, although that might be due to the fact that the South is the poorest region in the country. 
5. The number one reason people are executed is murder ( 

I personally ere towards the side of getting rid of the death penalty, however, I think my opinion would be different if I'd had a family member or close friend who'd been murdered.  Often times, people feel closure when the murderer of their loved one is put on death penalty and killed. However, some people don't feel that way; they believe that's it's dishonoring the memory of their loved one by killing another. 

Since their are so many pros and cons to this issue, I think the best way to lay out the facts is to list them. Here it goes: 

1. The death penalty may prevent would-be murderers from killing someone due to knowledge that the decision could cost them their life. 
2. As previously mentioned, death-row can give justice to the victim's family. 
3. Death-row not only brings justice to the victim's family, but it brings justice overall. Murders do horrible things, and deserve to be correctly punished for their actions. 

1. Death penalty trials are more expensive than keeping someone in prison for life. Some sources suggest that it could be as much as two million dollars more out of taxpayer pockets. 
2. Many question if the eighth amendment (which prevents torture) makes the death penalty illegal. A recent execution resulted in what many witnesses called an "agonizing scene." Other executions have also resulted in similar situations. 
3. There is a possibility (some statistics suggests 4%, others 12.5%), that a person on death row is found innocent. You can't bring people back from the dead, and killing an innocent person is seen 

But the overall solution to this all is... EDUCATION! People who graduate high school are significantly less likely to end up in federal prison. So by putting more money in education and encouraging kids to graduate, we keep our country safe. Yay!