Monthly Archives: June 2013

Society: SCOTUS and Gay Marriage

Best coverage:
SCOTUS blog Friday Round Up

Buzzfeed: What Actually Happened At The Supreme Court



and YAY!


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Music: Nina Nesbitt Stay Out

I’ve been listening to a lot of Nina Nesbitt recently.
And I would like to dedicate this song to my youngest sister, on the eve of her departure.
She is going to have such an amazing time studying abroad and I am so proud of her!
So in honor of all the fun she is going to have, and all the adventures she will go on, I present, this song:

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Society: Supreme Court Decisions on Genes, AIDS Funding and the Right to Remain Silent

While I wait on pins and needles for the big two gay marriage decisions, I’m keeping up with Supreme Court decisions like never before.

The Supreme Court decided on 3 important cases in the past week.
I guess one could argue that all cases the Supreme Court decides are important, but anyways.

Those 3 cases are:

  1. Genes
  2. AIDS Funding
  3. The Right to Remain Silent

1. Genes

The decision: nobody can patent human genes because they are products of nature
My opinion: I do not believe that genes should be able to be patented. I was born with my DNA, it’s mine. I think it’s really messed up that corporations think they can patent parts of the bodies of human beings.
Read up and decide for yourself: on NPR Supreme Court: Human Genes May Not Be Patented

2. AIDS Funding

The decision: the government cannot force private health organizations to denounce prostitution to get money to fight HIV/AIDS overseas
My opinion: I’m glad they decided this. I think that requiring organizations to denounce prostitution is counter productive. I think that if orgs were required to denounce prostitution that it would tell the people they treat (who are prostitutes) that they are less than and unwelcome. Which goes against what those organizations are trying to do, which is not to eradicate prostitution but to eradicate AIDS no matter what the source. Because I don’t think you get anywhere by telling people you don’t accept them, a safe space needs to be created to do this important work. And furthermore I don’t agree with compelled-speech.
Read up and decide for yourself: on NPR Supreme Court: Provision In AIDS Law Violates Free Speech

3. The Right to Remain Silent

The decision:
My opinion: I found the whole thing really disturbing. I would like to find a more thorough article on this.
Read up and decide for yourself: on You Don’t Have the Right to Remain Silent

A good quote from the article:

“The court’s new ruling puts the “defendant in an impossible predicament. He must either answer the question or remain silent,” Justice Stephen Breyer said in dissent (joined by the other three liberal-moderates). “If he answers the question, he may well reveal, for example, prejudicial facts, disreputable associates, or suspicious circumstances—even if he is innocent.” But if he doesn’t answer, at trial, police and prosecutors can now take advantage of his silence, or perhaps even of just pausing or fidgeting.”


My favorite reporter on all things Supreme Court is Nina Totenberg on NPR.
Check out: Nina Totenberg Answers Your Supreme Court Questions.

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Misc.: New Sunscreen Guidelines

It’s the first day of summer today.
What better time to talk about sunscreen?

The NYT has a blog post called : ” The New Rules for Sunscreen“.
My mom is super serious about sunscreen, thankfully, and has instilled that in me as well.
I also don’t do well in sun and heat, and sunscreen actually helps with that.

Here are the main points from the article (these are quotes):

  • Use of the label “broad spectrum protection” now means the sunscreen has been proved to protect against both UVA and UVB rays, although the UVA protection may be comparatively weaker.

  • Ultraviolet A rays are associated with aging and skin damage, but some experts believe they may also be implicated in skin cancer.

  • Products cannot claim to be waterproof, only water-resistant, and labels must note a time limit of either 40 or 80 minutes before the sunscreen is ineffective.

  • It’s not clear that sunscreens with higher SPFs (higher than 50) actually are more effective. Higher SPF values are misleading. “It’s like the gas mileage sticker on a car. It’s based on test conditions that you’ll never achieve in the real world”.

  • Try to keep older children inside when the sun is harshest, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A bad sunburn in childhood or adolescence doubles the risk of melanoma later in life, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

  • Avoid sunscreen sprays. The F.D.A. has banned sunscreen powders (though some products may still be available) and has asked for more data on sprays. The concern is twofold: that not enough sunscreen makes it onto the skin, and that the spray may be inhaled into the lungs.

  • Take endorsements and seals of approval with a grain of salt. The Skin Cancer Foundation gives a “seal of recommendation” to sunscreens, but only if their manufacturer has donated $10,000 to become a member of the organization.

Yay healthy skin!
Have a wonderful and sunburn free summer!


Filed under Misc.

Me: Lack of Posts

Sorry all, I’ve been MIA for two weeks.
I thought I had queued up some posts, but apparently not.
I’ve been really busy helping my youngest sister get ready for her junior year abroad in Italy.
She leaves on Monday. Ah! So exciting!

And now here are 3 posts, 2 for the missing 2 Friday posts and 1 for today.


[EDIT Sept 9, 2013]
I’m behind again and I decided that my policy, instead of posting more of these posts, is to just make up the number of posts I missed.
So when I miss posts I will post something when I am able.

(post post post posts posts, I think the word is losing all meaning)

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