Sawasdee ka!

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Hey there blog world….Here’s a brief recap of events that happened this year. The reason I haven’t been blogging is not because I didn’t have thoughts. I have thoughts (but rather too many). (High five for Julie and Julia reference?) This year has been a crazy beast so far with so much going on and a roller coaster of feelings. Feels like waves breaking over my head sometimes.

I had my 21st birthday in January. I don’t usually care much for my birthday, but friends and family made it special.

February I moved out of my parents’ house and into a condo across town with 2 roommates. This is very new and takes some getting used to, but I “decorated” my bathroom and hung pictures!

In March I went to Thailand for two weeks (What?!?). I pet tigers, zip lined through forest-y jungles outside of Chiang Mai, ate nachos at a karaoke bar, got hugged by elephants, Thai massage, yoga, got a Buddhist blessing tattoo (yes, it is like the one Angelina Jolie has, but not at all for that reason), spent a day on a beach on the island of Koh Larn, and met people from all over the world. The friends we made were the best part, now I know people all over the world that I can “visit”. I “got” to try all kinds of public transit; busses, sky train, planes, taxis, songthaews, and tuk-tuks and walked around the markets and saw all kinds of temples and the Grand Palace, and I learned a sentence in Thai. Sawasdee ka, khao pad kai dao, kop kun ka. Means “Hi, fried rice with a fried egg, thanks.” I ate a lot of fried rice. And food from 7eleven.

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One of the crazies I went with. This was at a monastery, I think.

Also in March, I had to withdraw from a class for the first time ever. And my grandpa died, but this is not a place to talk about that. March was a big month.

In April I had to drop my nutrition minor and had an existential crisis over grad school because I applied for graduation. You know, the usual college graduate questions….what am I going to do with my life? How do I travel and get paid to do it? Or just pay to do it? How do I incorporate the things I love into making money? What is this money stuff everyone is talking about and where do I get it? etc.

So for now I’m just trying to keep it cool and finish school with decent grades and my sanity intact. Guest passes to the gym, friends, and nachos faith, hope, and love make the world go ’round.

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President Obama’s Face Across Katy Perry’s Boobs.

From my psychology-oriented blog. My last political post for the 2012 presidential elections. An example of one of the most powerful propaganda tools-the minds of the demographic.

Eyes of Psychology

One explanation: the representativeness heuristic. What is the representativeness heuristic, you ask? It’s a thinking bias that describes a process our brain uses to come up with an answer or a reason or a decision based off of what comes to mind quickly and easily. Sometimes this can be helpful, but most times this can hinder our reasoning and rationality. With the elections today, there are many things out there trying to persuade us and many biases going on. Two major ones that act from the beginning of a campaign to the polls are the representativeness heuristic and the confirmation bias. We only mindlessly accept information that proves/confirms our beliefs, but think critically enough to find fault with information that contrasts/contradicts or existing beliefs and we can easily think of examples to support us because of the representativeness heuristic. Politicians and public figures know about these thinking biases and…

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Quote of the Day.

Since I’m on a roll here, I will impart to you a quote that I read today and thoroughly enjoyed. I am in love with Psychology and actually enjoy reading my text books because they say things like this:

“Americans eat oysters but not snails. The French eat snails but not locusts. The Zulus eat locusts but not fish. The Jews eat fish but not pork. The Hindus eat pork but not beef. The Russians eat beef but not snakes. The Chinese eat snakes but not people. The Jalé of New Guinea find people delicious.”

–Sociologist Ian Robertson

…I don’t actually eat any of this as a vegetarian…

Education, Compassion, and Politics.

Every four years, a constant, heated debate rages between rational humans over political issues that don’t usually come up in everyday conversation. I mean, I don’t usually have spur of the moment or tangential conversations with my friends, professors, and peers about issues such as abortions, health care, women’s rights, unemployment, our country’s foreign relations, etc. I might get into the Mac vs. PC debate though…or even the Canon vs. Nikon debate…

What people need to do in light of the upcoming elections is educate themselves on each side of the issues and what the bills and things they want you to vote for would mean to you and other people. Consider the effects of Obama’s Healthcare that he is pushing. Why are people opposing it? They must have their reasons, and same for why people are pushing it. They must have reasons, so what would be the consequences of a bill like that? Also, it is important to have compassion. That goes into what I was saying, how would this affect other people? Would it do more good than harm to children, mothers, babies, men, minorities, and humans in general? Just like the ethical considerations given when doing research, does your plan have respect for persons? Beneficence? Is there an informed consent process that should be considered? Just keep in mind that the human tendency is to think critically about things that oppose their views and not about things that support their views; this is called the confirmation bias. While every person has thinking biases and challenges, it is up to the voters and decision makers to think critically about both sides of an argument.

I personally can’t support a bill that makes me pay for other peoples’ birth control, morning/week after pills, or abortions because it’s just not healthcare. It’s government-assissted homicide. Just because it’s medication, doesn’t mean it is a medical necessity. I would gladly get behind healthcare that puts my tax dollars toward helping people pay for life saving surgeries/treatments, cancer trials and research, paying for expensive hospital stays, caring for and curing of childhood disease, and the like. Either candidate who gets elected wouldn’t change much in a four year span economically or in our overall foreign relations, I’m not thrilled and over the moon with Romney, but if he is elected maybe he can save some lives.

Either way this election goes, God has it in his control. He ultimately appoints the kings and judges. I just wish people would stop slinging mud at other parties like four year olds on a playground. If somebody disagrees with you, you can consider their points, consider your points, and make a decision and that doesn’t have to be a hostile process. I hate politics, but I care about people and respecting others no matter what their decisions/race/ethnicity/etc. but since this is a democratic and sovereign nation, I just hope that I am not forced to get behind things I don’t believe because that would be very unconstitutional.