• Let’s stop the hate

    I’m a supporter of LGBT rights. I’m generally not too vocal about it, but with recent events culminating in the Orlando mass shootings, I had to say something.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the LGBT rights movement recently. Hopefully this effort can be another step forward following the Civil Rights Movement, as we work towards equal rights and treatment for all.

    The Civil Rights Act made it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, or national orgin. Setting religion aside for a moment, the rest are distinctions that generally lead to noticeable physical differences. The ease of identification is probably one factor that helped the prejudice spread so much, and led to instituational disenfranchisement as well as terrible acts of discrimination and violence.

    Gay rights, though. There’s no real difference between gay people and straight people, transgender people and cisgender people. It’s just a preference; it’s how people feel. Why are we judging, discriminating, and even killing people based on how they think and feel? At this point an explicit anti-discrimination law is probably an essential step to stopping it, but honestly this feels like the sort of thing that we teach on posters in our primary school classrooms. It’s depressing that it needs a place in the Constitution of the United States of America.

    I don’t know if every anti-LGBT person comes from a religious perspective, but I think many do. If you believe that the Almighty says it’s a sin for two people of the same sex to love each other, then that’s a tough thing to reconcile. I get that. It’s a tragic situation, and it’s going to be hard to work out.

    But when it comes down to it, I believe that all major religions are centered around teaching love and respect. We can work together to make the world a better place, by cherishing our relationships with those around us. Religion can be a way to guide us, give us purpose, and achieve more than the sums of individual effort. That’s why I have no patience for those who twist religion to teach hate. We need it to stop.

  • Pluto - Closest Approach

    And here is the best picture we had previously, taken by Hubble. Pretty amazing stuff


  • A Striking Perspective on New York City Property Values | Metrocosm

    Property values across the U.S., where the area of each state has been substituted for its total property value.

  • The Night My Girlfriend Dissociated and Forgot Who I Was

    Because of her dissociative identity disorder, I was a stranger in the eyes of the woman I loved.

    Beautifully written, and a reminder that something like 50 First Dates is actually a terrifying situation

  • Ricky Jay’s Magical Secrets

    Ricky Jay is a legend, and is without a doubt one of my favorite magicians to watch. His shows leave you with a greater appreciation for the magician’s craft, rather than just the immediate illusion they present.

  • Homer's Last Theorem

    A look into the deep, dark, strangely complicated world of Simpsons mathematics.

    I knew that Futurama has a lot of great mathematics involved, but I didn’t realize that it started in the Simpsons.

  • Pipino: Gentleman Thief — EPIC MAGAZINE — Medium

    Magicians, Mafiosos, a Missing Painting, and the Heist of a Lifetime

  • The Time Everyone “Corrected” the World’s Smartest Woman

    In 1990, Marilyn vos Savant correctly answered a probability puzzle in her column for Parade Magazine. And then, the world called her an idiot.

    I still remember the chaos caused by the Monty Hall problem in our high school math class. Here’s my explanation for how it works:

    • Your first choice could either be a goat or a car.
    • If you picked the car, you will win the car by not changing your guess.
    • If it’s a goat, you will win the car by changing your guess.
    • Since you’re twice as likely to have picked a goat than a car, you’ll be twice as likely to win by switching for your second guess.

    Note that picking a goat and changing your guess will guarantee the car, since the host has revealed the second goat.

    The best strategy is to try to pick a goat in round 1, and plan to switch once the host has revealed the second goat.

  • A Teenager’s View on Social Media — Backchannel — Medium

    Very informative description of how teens and college students use the major social networks

  • The Rise of the Professional Cyber Athlete

    Very cool profile of Scarlett, a professional StarCraftII player