Zappy-zappy, bye-byes

Today I went for my first laser hair removal consultation. I didn’t actually lose any hair this time; they just checked out my skin, and went over a few questions (I had to sign a form saying I fully understood my beard would never grow back 😛 ). I have my first appointment in two weeks. I got myself all worked up about how painful it was going to be, then when she did the test patch… I honestly didn’t feel a thing. Although I’ve since been informed the real hair removal is a lot more painful. Mum even told me the bikini line is worse than childbirth… and I put her into labour for 18 hours *gulp*. At least I’ll never have to hair remove again once it’s over 😀

Religion; the root of all evil?

I don’t know the answer to this question. I don’t believe anyone does.

After watching Richard Dawkins‘ documentary Root of All Evil; followed by an hour in the bath with Oliver James’ book Affluenza, I have been inspired to share my opinion.

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Richard Dawkins line in his two part documentary ‘Root of all Evil’ is very much along the lines of yes, religion is the root of all evil. He successfully puts forward an argument about all the dangers of religion such as breeding of prejudices, blind faith, taking away from the truth of science, and down right extremism. He uses examples, which are indeed shocking, such as:

-Yousef Al-Khattab “I hate atheists, because atheists don’t care if people fornicate in the street and they don’t care if their women dress like whores”

– Pastor Ted Haggard claiming homosexuality is a sin, and getting offended that evolution makes his children ‘animals’. He has since admitted to having a 3 year affair with a gay prostitute, and taking crystal meth… great role model.

– James Kopp who killed an American Doctor because he was carrying out abortions.

– Adrian Hawkes who runs a creationist school in England; instead of Science lessons the children read the bible and work out God’s explanation of how the world was created!

All completely ridiculous and great examples of why we should take more steps to out extremism. However, I do not think that these people are a fair representation of religion. I know it would not have made such interesting viewing, but Dawkins includes no examples of the average religious family, leading average lives, causing no harm. I do not agree with his idea that children should be taught the ways of evolution and science to get remove the ‘virus’ of religion. I personally believe that children should be taught all areas and given the right to chose; Dawkins obviously gets his spiritual fulfilment from science and receives comfort from this knowledge. However, everybody on this planet is completely different; to a certain degree everybody is looking for a source of security and explanations, there are those who find it through religion and they should not be denied access. Everybody has the right to chose and I don’t see how Richard Dawkins is much less of a fundamentalist than the people in his documentaries; after all are they not the same in wanting people to subscribe to exculisively their school of thought? I am not saying that he is wrong for believing in evolution, I do too, but science is not sufficient for everybody.

My Grandma, upon hearing my GCSE results, exlaimed “I’m telling you Emily, it was all that praying I did for you. God was listening.”… yes Nanny, it was God, not 2 years of incredibly hard work on my part 😛 . Slighty annoying to get no recognition, yes. The root of all evil, no, it’s just a sweet old lady trying to find some security.

I love Skitch!

The one thing that slightly annoyed me about my baby (new MacBook) is that there was no easy to use paint application. Well thanks to Dad, I’ve found one. It’s called Skitch (sketch in an Australian accent gettit? haha) It’s the easiest to use paint tool ever. So go check it out, if you have a mac. If you don’t have a mac… get one :p

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How far would you go…

To avoid that horrible first day back at school?

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According to an article on the BBC a 10 year old boy in Mexico went to some extreme lengths to avoid going back to school. He was so determined to watch his morning cartoons that he woke up early; and using industrial strength glue stuck his hand to his bed! After a few hours, during which he watched tv, police and paramedics managed to free him.

 Unfortunately poor Diego was sent off to school, just a few hours late.

 Wonder why I never thought of that… haha 😀

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Smooth Operator

It was my 18th birthday this weekend… lots of fun and celebrations, and the promise of a car! Mum and Dad paid for a curry, and met Mark’s parents for the first time; luckily everybody got on great, and it was really good fun! Then my brother took me out for my first legal drink at the pub with Mark 🙂

Here’s a video of me opening the Mumm champagne Steve gave me; as you can see… complete natural 😛

Credit for the video goes to Helen Blades, my cousin. Obviously I didn’t film it myself as I’m in it hehe 🙂

The Nature of Love… and some messed up monkeys

I have been reading a lot about Harry Harlow recently, the man who believed he found the nature of love. If he did I’m pretty sure he never personally found it for himself, here is a summary of his studies:

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The earlier Harlow experiments were relatively ethical, at least compared to his later ones! He took baby monkey’s away from their mothers and placed them in a room with a.) a wire mother, who had spiky nipples but lots of milk and b.) a wire mother covered in soft fur, but without milk. He found that the baby monkey’s spent the majority of the day cuddled up to their fur mothers, forming a strong bond; occasionally they hopped over to the wire mother for some food, but never stayed for too long. This was revolutionary for the time, the early 1960s, when most behaviorists believed that the bond formed between mother and child developed purely because the baby associated their mother with the pleasurable experience of being fed. He showed that the nature of love was in intimate contact, not food.

However, it first became obvious that intimate contact was not all that was needed in childhood when the young rhesus monkey’s began to grow up. Their behaviour began to resemble that of autistic humans; they would rock themselves in repetitive motions, and were incredibly hostile to other monkeys, refusing to mate. In a separate study Harlow found that if these monkeys were given half an hour a day to play with other monkey’s their social development was normal. He had shown that not only was intimate contact needed but that this contact needed to be interactive as well, but did not necessarily need to come from the mother.

I think his studies took a serious turn for the darker side, when upon realising these isolated monkey’s would not mate, he designed the “rape rack”. This forced the monkeys to mate against their will. Among the monkey’s who became pregnant, they were all completely incapable of looking after their babies; many of the mother’s even killed their children.

Not realising his studies had gone to far, or perhaps noticing and just craving publicity, Harlow went on to carry out even darker experiments. The pit of despair was another contraption he invented, which he left baby monkey’s trapped inside of, with only food and water, no light. He left some in for 30 days, others for 6 months and others for one year. The results were that many of the monkeys stopped eating and starved to death, others starting to self harm; all monkeys were completely unable to regain normal social behaviour ever again after being in isolation for over a year.

Some say that Harry Harlow’s studies had great implications for how we do things today, for example, revolutionising the care that is provided in children’s homes, and suggestions to new mothers that their child is placed on their chest immediately after birth. His findings also lead to more loving ways of rearing children developed during the 70s. However, personally I feel that these findings, that children need contact and play to develop normally, are quite self explanatory and there was no need to create so many messed up monkeys!

Back to School

I go back to college tomorrow, 2nd of January… harsh, I know! I’ve had a really lovely holiday though, but it’s going to be really hard work getting back into the rhythm and I’ve got loads of exams. For once in my life though I’m not too stressed, I’ve done loads of revision already and I can only do my best 😀

I had a really good New Years Eve, and I’ve come up with my resolutions:

1.) Keep up doing Yogalates

2.) Get a job!

3.) See my friends more

4.) Do well in my exams

I can’t believe that this time in 6 months it’s all going to be over and I’ll have a whole year off school! I can’t wait 😀

The Holiday

Well it hasn’t been all work, work. Infact it’s barely been work, work at all haha :S

Yesterday I watched a film called The Holiday, starring Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law. I think I would have to give it about a 7/10

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Plot: It’s about two women who are having problems with their love life. Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who lives in LA, has just been cheated on. Iris (Kate Winslet), who lives in a small english village, is in love with a man who is about to get engaged, yet still plays her along. Set during the Christmas period, the two women decide they need to get away and exchange homes. Little do they know the true love they are going to find there (hollywood style of course) haha.

My thoughts: Well there’s a really sweet old man in it played by Eli Wallach, who I would say makes the film worth watching. However, the romance between Iris and Miles (Jack Black) is completely unbelievable and annoying, as are the scenes between Graham (Jude Law) and his children. Overall though it’s an easy, light-hearted, funny film to watch and not a complete waste of time 😛

Culture Bound Syndromes

Today I have been studying Culture Bound Syndromes and a few of them are really bizarre. I couldn’t help but post them on my blog 😀

1.) Dhat; mainly occurs in Indian-Hindu cultures.

This is when people hold the belief that semen is leaking out of their body and taking away their power. This leads to feelings of exhaustion, weakness, and lethargy.

On first appearance it may just look like these people are completely mad, but (this is what i find really interesting) they may not be as culture bound as it first appears.  If we take into consideration that, according to my textbook, in Indian cultures semen is thought to be produced in the blood, and is seen as a symbol of energy. It could be the underlying disorder is depression, one of the symptoms being loss of energy, and it is just being expressed differently by another culture!

2.) Koro; mainly occurs in Chinese cultures

This is the when people believe  that their penis is shrinking, and will eventually withdraw into their abdomen killing them! Obviously this results in extreme anxiety, and apparently they take countermeasures to stop this process; an example of which is tying objects, such as weights and chopsticks to their penis… OW! haha.

Well, urm, I don’t really have an explanation for that one. 😛