In true and typical Amanda fashion – there’s been too many things whirring in my head and not enough hours in the day to properly pen and extrapolate on current events; but man, oh man, do they ever need to be covered. First things first for any of my So.Cal followers – who managed to snag some pics of last nights epic, cotton candy sunset?! I made a special trip to the roof and stayed until the clouds picked up hints of magenta and lavender; absolutely stunning!
For today, I’d love to focus on news about the good o’ Red White & Blue, ‘Murrica;
It’s like news of the weird, but better – because it’s all about US(A).
NBA Finals: Bringing The Heat
I don’t talk about it much – and most likely, it has heaps and heaps to do with the fact that I live in LA – but I’m a huge Miami Heat / Dwayne Wade fan. That said, I’ve been losing my voice lately trying to kick their asses into high gear against the Spurs in the finals ( Sidenote: If I have to see Tim Duncan go up for another ten layups I might have to strangle a coach or something…) so it’s nice to have a little somethin’ somethin’ to liven the mood. Take this video from Jimmy Kimmel Live where he got some of my favorite former and current ballers and makes them read mean tweets about themselves =)
Things all over the states have been heating up lately, but nothing quite like what’s happened in Florida. Over the weekend, a band of merry men went trapesing through the Little Econ State Forest in Florida in search of some magic mushrooms. Unfortunately, it sounds like they ran into a few hiccups – firstly, there’s a little bitty thing called the law. Officers stopped the group for the removal of plant life – which itself is reason enough for jail time – but during their search, the officers also discovered a two foot long alligator in their possession. They received a misdemeanor for the destruction of plant life, possession of an alligator and violations of probation; in a while, crocodiles!
Science, Politics and Psychoactive Drugs: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
It’s crazy to think of the advancements we could have made for PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, mental illnesses – and, in general, science itself -if politics hadn’t gotten in the way of science and the empirical method. The validity of the professors argument is only furthered by his exit from from the council. To quote the article,
“Professor Nutt, who was dismissed from the Home Office’s advisory council on drugs in 2009 after clashing with ministers, said that UN conventions on drugs in the 1960s and 1970s have delayed the development of “innovative treatments” for PTSD and depression by 30 years and also set back research into areas of neuroscience such as consciousness.”
An Apple A Day Keeps the Geeks at Bay
The guys over at Apple are back at it and in a big way. Earlier this week, Apple released specs for their new Mac Pro at their World Wide Developer Conference, better known to geeks far and wide as WWDC, up in San Francisco. This is the first new desktop in years coming from the gurus at Mac and us technophiles should definitely stop and take notice. Not only is this the first Mac Pro with a flash based hard drive, but this model has duel AMD graphics cards, RAM that’s quick as a bunny, and 2.5x faster flash memory. Bottom line: my birthday is in six months, who’s getting it for me?
One last rant….
Prism: The Irony and The Agony
If you’re reading this, then you should be more than aware of a current government initiative called PRISM. For their purposes, PRISM is a code word for a program the NSA is using to collect and aggregate data from across nine major internet companies to “combat terrorism“. The companies are as follows: Facebook, AOL, Apple, YouTube, Skype, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and PalTalk – not to mention, numerous wireless carriers like Verizon; and they’re collecting information on you, right now, as we speak. And what’s worse, these companies are now denying its existence.
The irony to me is what a prism actually is: a glass or transparent object. Because this, this is anything but.
From the perspective of a Data Analyst, I can tell you right now that if you’re minding your own business the government isn’t much minding yours at all. However, that’snot the real issue – the problem is the assumed deception of the American populous in order to collect an extremely large amount of metadata.
It’s not just my generation that’s up in arms – it’s the majority of the American public. If it wasn’t for the whistleblower – Edward Snowden -we wouldn’t be privy to any of this information. You can judge for yourself whether he’s a traitor or a hero – but I take the position of the later. He’s currently dipping and dodging all over, and attempting to seek asylym from the United States where he’s been deemed a traitor by our government. Then there’s Larry Klayman, a former Justice Department prosecutor, is filing a $20 Billion Dollar class action lawsuit that focuses on any complicit companies or officials as well as the above nine companies in question.
The fact of the matter is we’ve been aware for a long time that the government is fond of phone taps, collecting both instant messages and text messages; and thanks to my mother I’ve been very aware of my internet footprint. Once something goes online – it can’t exactly be deleted. For my generation – the e-generation, this posses a huge issue as most of us are already wary of the role the government plays in both our personal and technological lives. Unlike our parents, we’ve more or less grown up with and grown into the internet – and now, all of a sudden, it feels like a lifelong friend has been turned against our best interests.