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What I’m saying here has been said many times already since the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, but it bears repeating as many times as possible: stop pointing fingers and end the bitter and hateful climate of politics that’s taken hold of this country. The most important thing is to refrain from automatically associating this shooting with the famous graphic on Sarah Palin’s website and/or the violent rhetoric that’s been tweeted and otherwise shared by prominent right-wing figures. The authorities still don’t know exactly what motivated Jared Loughner to do what he did. The only thing that seems to be certain is that he was mentally ill in some regard. In times like these, rampant emotion and kneejerk reactions are just the kind of things that can snowball and lead to even more violence. Logic and reason are absolutely critical. Until there is factual evidence that Loughner was incited to this violence by the right-wing rhetoric, we cannot make that claim. We must also refrain from blaming Sarah Palin or any other political figure. The only answer to this problem is reconciliation and compromise between the major political parties of this country. Both parties must open their minds and listen to each other, make some compromises, and work together to extinguish the flames of hatred rather than fan them.

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Yesterday Virgin Galactic revealed their SpaceShip Two to the public. This is officially the first publicly accessible spacecraft ever. For a pretty penny (about $200,000) you can book yourself a ride on this thing, and it will take you to the edge of space. You’ll experience about 5 minutes of virtual weightlessness. Check out this video animation showing the flight from launch to landing: (pardon the cheesy sound effects…)

I suppose it’s reasonable to hope that one day, during my lifetime, it will become affordable for the average individual to take spaceflights like these and experience such a humbling and inspiring sight as the earth from space….

I’ve always been a logical and reasonable person who respects the efforts of science and thorough research, however I do keep my mind open and understand that there’s a lot we don’t yet understand about all aspects of science. Medicine is a part of the scientific field of study. While this LiveScience article points out that many fields of “alternative medicine” have taken a beating this year, it’s important to note that most of the “treatments” they mention have been thoroughly dis-proven many times before, yet some people still continue to push these methods as legitimate treatment. I have to admit that I laughed a little after reading the section on Reiki. Anyone who believes that someone standing over them holding their hands above their head is going to heal their cancer is absolutely insane. Do these people still believe in Santa Claus? Or the tooth fairy? There’s a little thing called reality. Reality is testable and provable. And reality is all there is. Period. Please read that article if you have ever considered one of those “alternative treatments.” My own father is currently undergoing what some would call “alternative treatment” for early stages of prostate cancer, but what he’s doing (very specific dietary guidelines combined with some herbal supplements) has at least some proven results. It’s more of what you would call an “experimental treatment” that hasn’t been studied thoroughly enough to be accepted in the mainstream. I have nothing against this and of course hope the treatment works, but I also hope it will get more thorough research. But the treatments mentioned in that article have been debunked. They are total bullshit. If you believe in them you might as well believe the moon is made of cheese.

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