June 26, 2007
I'm on vacation this week, so in lieu of thought-provoking discussions, I urge you to be a radical in people's lives. Buy a candy bar for your cube mate. Do the unexpected for people. Most people are nice. But, try loving people that you don't even like. And report the results.
See you on Monday.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:38 AM
June 22, 2007
So, I read this story about this guy who lost his legs, and now competes in the Special Olympics with state-of-the art bionic legs. He not only obliterates his Special Olympics competition, but can actually compete on the professional level with those who have no disability.
People have titanium knees. No big deal. Lasik vision helps them see better. No big deal.
But, what if someone gets robotic arms that can make them swing 40% faster than any other person on Earth? Will professional sports associations have to draw a line? Or are sports destined to become a battle not won by sweat, but by technology?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:41 AM
June 21, 2007
(paraphrased from Last Comic Standing last night)
"If someone's truly afraid of the dark, you don't call him a bigot. You don't shove him into a dark cupboard to help him get over it.
But, with homophobia, there's an entirely different stigma. What if the person literally had a traumatic experience growing up? Like, a homosexual jumped out of the closet and sat on them or something?
Give them time to heal."
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:03 AM
June 20, 2007
A new study from the American Journal of Public Health states that lesbians are twice as likely as heterosexual women to be overweight or obese.
What conclusion do you jump to after seeing that statistic?
The conclusion the article jumps to is that "lesbian women must have a better body image than heterosexual women."
Was that yours?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:33 AM
June 19, 2007
#1: Many Christians are against abortion, because an innocent life is executed through no fault of their own.
#2: One of the main goals of many Christians is for as many people to go to heaven one day as possible.
#3: Many Christians believe that aborted babies go to heaven.
So, if the odds of an aborted baby going to heaven are 100% and the odds of that child growing up and trusting in Christ as their savior and redeemer are LESS than 100%, then why the massive outcry about stopping this injustice if the ends are satisfying enough?
UPDATE: So, I knew this was going to be a question that received a lot of flack (that's the point of this site, right), so I also put this question on yahoo answers. you can check out the posts there as well.
June 18, 2007
Nail polish. It is now officially summertime. And in business-casual settings all across the country, women are now slipping open-toed shoes into their clothing cycle.
When I see a women wear open-toed shoes without nail polish on their toes, I am quickly reminded of a male foot, a ghastly eye-sore of the human body.
My public service announcement for the day: Ladies, please paint those little piggies before you bust out those slip-ons. Just the slightest coat of pink nail polish can turn a gag reflex into a fine work of art.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:51 AM
June 15, 2007
June 14, 2007
So, there's a problem with economic inequality in this country. And it's time for a "would you rather?" question.
Should our goal be to increase the TOTAL amount of money earned in this country, and then work to encourage and create better opportunities for everyone to get the biggest piece of the pie that they can?
Or, should we slightly lower the total amount of money earned in this country, and through redistribution, try to balance the economic status of the populace as much as possible?
Should our goal be to create the greatest MEAN prosperity in this country or the greatest MEDIAN prosperity?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:52 AM
June 13, 2007
June 12, 2007
(Read yesterday's post as a preamble to this one.)
There are many politicians today who reside in a very high tax bracket, and are public about their plans to raise taxes for this bracket so the rich in this country can give an extra portion back to the country that has been so good to them. The claim made is that this is a moral thing to do.
Yet, if you look at the personal charitable donation records of these very politicians, the amount they give to charity is often less than 1-2%, even lower than the AVERAGE American's meager giving rate of 2.2% of their total income.
So, if these politicians think that the moral thing to do is to force the rich to give back more of their money in order to help the less fortunate in this country, then why aren't they currently doing that themselves?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:47 AM
June 11, 2007
Thomas Jefferson wrote and fought for legislation that would abolish slavery in this country. While he was doing this, he owned many slaves.
Is this hypocritical?
Today's post is meant to create a consistent platform before we discuss a more current, relevant issue tomorrow.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:45 AM
June 08, 2007
How do we develop social/political viewpoints? Do we just defend the things we want to be able to do?
Argument from person who smokes. "Stop taxing my cigarettes. That's a government intrusion."
Argument from same person who doesn't like that SUVs block their view on the road. "Get those SUVs off the road. They're dangerous and bad for the environment."
Instead, shouldn't we develop a consistent reasoning platform, and then base our decisions off that platform - rather than just, "I don't like cigarette smoke, so let's ban it."
Posted by Eric Olsen at 11:40 AM
June 07, 2007
In the 1980s, leasing a car was actually a smart investment move. You could actually MAKE money on a re-sale, because rising inflation caused your initial lock-in price to be a steal when you bought out your lease at the end.
Since then, leases have turned into a financial joke, with common knowledge being that leasing is stupid.
But, I was investigating some leasing opportunities the other day. I can lease a $25,000 car for 2 years for $5,000 total, including sign-on costs. Why is that such a bad deal? I get a new car every 2 years. The only way I lose is that if I buy, I could hope that after 10 years, my car is worth more than 0, which it probably would be. But, how much more? And is that a better value than getting a new car every 2 years?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:45 AM
June 06, 2007
June 05, 2007
What would the teaching of intelligent design in public schools actually consist of?
Does it really need to be given "equal" time in the classroom along with evolution? I think it can be summed up in 2-minutes. Just say that there's a lot of evidence that leads us in the direction of evolution, but that it is based on an assumption that we can't prove. So, some people believe that there must have been a divine Creator involved in the creation process, but that can not be proved either. But, here are a couple reasons why they think that:
Some scientists believe that the complexities of even the smallest living organisms are too marvelous to have been coincidentally created, and believe that a higher power must have had his hand in it.
Scientists like Augustine, through the dissection of humans made a statement, paraphrased here, "that as I learn more and more about the perfect symmetry of human anatomy, it would seem that we were perhaps created for beauty as much as utility."
Just get the kid to understand that science is based on assumption, as is faith. I'm not sure it's necessary to give them equal credence in the textbooks. After all, and I quote the E-Ching: "The truth shall outring what is loud."
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:35 AM
June 04, 2007
As I was sipping my cup of coffee this morning, I realized that it was a little more bitter than I'm used to. It was because I was using a larger mug, and therefore, my standard measurements of creamer and Sweet & Low didn't have the same effect on the larger amount of coffee.
This led me to wonder...I'm not quite sure how...why we don't get to sweeten soft drinks to our particular likeness. There are many people out there who say that Coke is too sweet for them, or that Pepsi is better because it's a little sweeter.
How about Coke served black, an unsweetened or lightly sweetened formula that you have to add sweetener too, just like coffee. Therefore, you can have your Coke just the way you like it.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:52 AM
June 01, 2007
#1: George Washington
Washington signed Jay's Treaty in 1795, a treaty with Great Britain that "relinquished the right to U.S. neutrality on the seas" in hopes of avoiding further conflict. This treaty allowed any American ship to be seized and searched by Great Britain. Therefore, many were. And Britain often claimed any useful product they found on board, including any British immigrants to the United States, which they would then drag off any force them to serve in the Royal Navy.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:53 AM