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That was odd...

NaNoWriMo day four

NaNoWriMo day four

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Voting.

I voted today. Ever since I've been eligible to, I have voted. It's my civic duty. Of course, every time I've voted, the person that I have voted for has lost. I wonder if this trend will continue this year. If it does, at least I tried to make a difference. Right now I'm watching election coverage, because this one is at least as important as all of the others.

You know, I haven't been watching television lately, and from what I can tell I haven't been missing much. All of the coverage that I can see is focusing on superficial differences between the candidates. I'm flipping through, and all the people are talking about is how it would make Obama the first African-American president. There is almost no coverage on the real issues.

Sure, they mention the economy and housing issues, but really they just touch on them, rather than actually taking a serious look at how those issues actually became issues. Not a word is spoken about how the candidates plan to address these issues. All that I hear are promises and vague plans. I hear nothing even approaching a well-thought out plan. Simply empty generalities. Is this what we are supposed to go to the polls with?

Ugh. Really I don't want to watch this coverage anymore. And yet, I cannot look away. It's like a train wreck. So far, all that I can see on the television that I agree with is a simple two-word phrase. Go Vote. It really doesn't matter why you vote, as long as you do. Distance doesn't matter, either. Even if you have to drive over forty miles, you need to go vote. Of course, if you're reading this post, you probably already have. And, if you haven't, I have two words for you.

GO VOTE!

Alright, that's enough on that topic, I think. What else have I got to talk about? I don't think there is anything that I've got that's especially interesting. I would type more about My Spanish Coach, but I haven't picked it back up since yesterday. That, and I don't especially want this month to be about how I spent a lot of time playing a videogame. Even if that game is educational and helping me gain a marketable skill.

There are a lot of things that I don't want this month to turn into. Really, I don't want it to turn into simply a journal about how I'm trying to pad out posts into the daily requirement of at least 1667 words. Yesterday's post was promising on that count, and up until now this post was, too. Damn. I'm still watching television. I've switched the channel away from the news, but it's still on. I have it on Comedy Central, and it looks like they are broadcasting The Daily Show and The Colbert Report all day.

While I enjoy the shows, I must say that I am appalled to know that many of the people of my generation use these shows to determine who they will vote for. Why does my peer group insist on not performing independent research to determine who they will vote for? I keep hearing that they are going to vote for someone 'Because that's who [Television Pundit] says I should vote for. Personally, that disgusts me. If they did their own research and reached the same conclusion I would be fine with it, but voting for a candidate based solely on someone elses recommendation... I would almost wish that they not vote at all.

Damn. I really need to get off of that topic, as it is doing nothing but agitate me. What's going on in the world that doesn't have to do with the Election? I can't use the television news to find out, since they're all yammering on about the Election and not really giving any time over to anything else. Hang on, let me go check Google... Let's see, Guerilla fighters in the Congo are threatening to restart a war unless the government enters negotiations, Indonesia is stepping up security for the execution of three terrorists, one of the top Ministers has been dismissed by the Iranian Parliament. That one sounds interesting. Let's see if we can find out who and why.

Wow. Apparently Ali Kordan was dismissed after he admitted to faking his University degree, as well as attempting to bribe members of the Parliament to keep them from dismissing him. Why would somebody admit to faking a degree? And then try to pay people to just ignore it? Oh, wow. It's not just any degree. It looks like he actually forged a degree from Oxford University. He claimed that it was real, but changed his story several weeks after Oxford stated that they had never issued such a degree to him. Okay, that explains why he would admit that it was fake. Now that I know that, I can understand the attempt at bribery.

Not that I condone his actions, mind you. I simply understand them. According to the pundits, this fiasco may threaten President Ahmedinejad's chances of re-election. Apparently Ahmedinejad is trying to deal with an economic crisis at the moment as well, and this may end his political career. In Iran, at least. It's interesting, though. Ahmedinejad is not responsible for putting Kordan in the government, and yet he is doing his best to make sure Kordan was given the benefit of the doubt. In fact, it looks like Kordan was forced on Ahmedinejad by Ayatallah Khameini.

Huh. Apparently the Director of the presidential liaison office in Parliament was the one actually in charge of the bribery attempt. This makes it seem less like Kordan was attempting to bribe people, and more like Ahmedinejad himself was trying it. For someone who wasn't Mahmoud's choice, he sure as hell seems like he wants him in. Ah! I think I see why. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad would have to submit his Cabinet of Ministers to review by Parliament if more than half are replaced. So far, Ahmedinejad has replaced nine out of the twenty-one members. Now that Kordan is out, he cannot replace anymore without Parliament going through everyone.

Wait, Ahmedinejad seems to have fired the Director of the presidential liasion office for this bribery attempt. Man, this just gets more complex the deeper I delve into it. From what I can tell, it appears that the Director was acting alone on this whole 'bribery' thing. Of course, I would expect Ahmedinejad (or any politician, for that matter) to disavow all knowledge of bribery attempts. Hrmm... I really don't know how to feel about all of this. Anybody have any thoughts on this whole affair? Any information that I may have missed?

Well, until I learn more about this whole fiasco, let's try and find something else to learn about. Have I mentioned how much I love doing research like this? I mean, when I have to research for an assignment it is a chore. When I'm just looking for information on something interesting, I can look all day for more information without even really caring about how long it takes. I supose that it is the same for most everybody, though. Anyway, back to looking for something interesting.

Okay, it seems that there is a correlation between rainfall and Autism. The headlines say 'link', but I honestly think that 'link' connotes causation, so I'm sticking with 'correlation'. That is after all, what the study has shown. According to this article, many dosctors believe that Autism (and a related condition known as Asperger's Syndrome) is partly genetic, but they really don't understand all of the disorder. I think that in another decade or two we will know for sure, but this study proposes a few reasons why rainfall appears to have a correlation.

One reason is simply that many parents pull their children inside in rainy weather, and the children could thereby be exposed to harmful chemicals indoors. That seems a bit of a stretch to me, though. After all, children across the country spend plenty of time indoors. A few hours more everyday doesn't really add all that much exposure. Besides, the parents of these children are spending the same amount of time indoors. Why would they not be affected by these chemicals? Assuming that it is partly genetic, they should be showing ill-effects as well.

Another reason also supports the staying indoors theory, but puts the blame on watching watching television. I would like to know whether the Autism rates changed according to whether or not the household routinely watched television before I subscribe to such a theory. While I do personally think that modern television is not really healthy to watch in large doses, that is because I personally dislike it. I have no study supporting my claim.

One final reason actually feels to me like it could be the right one. Autism may be linked with Vitamin D deficiency. I would like to look more into that one, but unfortunately there simply is no data about that. So, it looks like I just have to sit tight and wait for more information.

I personally would like to read the study before I cast more aspersions upon it, though. If you would like to read it as well, it is located here. The link takes you directly to the PDF file, so you can just right click it to save it for later. It's a 68-page study, so be warned.

In reading this paper, it is clear that before any conclusion is truly reached, there needs to be new information gathered. They are using statistics that are incredibly old, and saying that there is a positive correlation between the prevalence of cable television and autism rates. Luckily, the researchers do admit that without conducting a more in-depth study they cannot conclusively say that there is causation. So, kudos for being scientists and admitting that they cannot draw a definite conclusion using nothing but old statistics.

I will admit that the definition for autism seems to be rather wide. With the exception of the requirement that the child picks up language late, a strong case could be made that I have autism. Hrm. I wonder what difference it would make, if I was diagnosed with autism. I hope none, as I am in full control of what I think, feel and say. I honestly think that the definition for Autism needs to be refined. Anyway, the study is an interesting read so far, and if you are at all interested in the subject of autism I suggest you read it.

And with that, my friends, I reach my daily quota. I would like to say that I seem to be having issues with my spacebar not wanting to seperate words without extreme force being used to persuade it. Anyway, I've already typed over 1750 words, and that was before the beginning of this paragraph. Good night, everybody.
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