Friday, September 18, 2015

The Friday Four, Part 136



I love SpokaneFaVS. I donate monetarily every month and I volunteer many hours as the COO for SpokaneFaVS because I believe what we're doing is important and helps make this a better world. If you agree, now would be a GREAT time to show your support. We've had some significant and unexpected expenses this month and could really use the help! Read more and donate here. Spread the word! Every little bit helps! Thank you!


I was flat out angry when I read about 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed in Irving, Texas, and his suspension for bringing a homemade digital clock to school this past week. This situation speaks to a number of interrelated problems in our society: ignorance of science and engineering, fear of the "other" or anything and anyone who is different or we don't understand, school's zero-tolerance policies (which are fed by the aforementioned ignorance and fear), Islamophobia (which has been amply demonstrated in Irving, Texas, as of late), and racism (ignorance and fear at play here again). I believe all of these factors were in play during this insane over-reaction.

Eventually Ahmed was arrested for bringing a "hoax bomb" to school - which makes no sense since he *never* implied it was anything other than a clock and hoaxes generally require some intent to deceive and none of the authority figures acted like they thought for a moment it was a bomb. The bomb squad wasn't called, absolutely no precautions were taken to protect anyone from a possible explosive device. Everything about this incident stinks to high heaven.

(As a side note, he was interrogated by police for hours without his parents or an attorney present, despite Ahmed asking for his parents several times. How is that not a violation of his rights??)

Fortunately, the charges were dropped, he was released to his parents without being admitted to the juvenile detention center, and scientists, musicians, engineers, social media moguls, educators, and other high profile people have reached out to offer support, scholarships, invitations. I'm glad some good will come out of this, but I sincerely hope it's a wake-up call to schools, communities, and individuals everywhere to do things differently. It's happened before; it should never happen again.


Love these photos from around the world - Cameroon, Liberia, Afghanistan, India, Israel, Palestine, Yemen, Cuba, Haiti, Canada, the U.S., Venezuela, Australia, Ireland, Poland, the U.K., Ukraine, and more! - of women and girls standing up for their rights. I may not agree with every stance or method represented in the pictures, but I love their bravery and commitment. Love, love, love!


In case you've been avoiding bungee jumping because it seems too dangerous, you should know that you are at significantly higher risk of death going canoeing. Or scuba diving.

For other statistics of your chance of dying doing various activities, click here. (Since you're 1,000 times more likely to die at dance parties than playing board games, I guess we're pretty safe with our Ticket to Ride, Dominion, and Carcassone.)

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