Photo by EmilyDietle
I must admit, I love the atheist group I belong to on Facebook. It reserves as a repository of pieces of pseudoscience that we can all collectively mock in a lighthearted fashion. Today, I was served with a link to a spellcaster named Dr. Ogundu. He sold a collection of spellcasting services that perhaps could assist with my dating woes. Naturally, I sent him an email explaining my plight. For your amusement, I have included the full email I sent below, and it’s a good laugh!
Photo by lauramusikanski at Morguefile.com
It’s quite a funny thing, having been around on WordPress for as long as I have. I’ve come to gain an audience, lose it, and then gain it again. In fact, Memory of the Star has been my most successful blog to date. Not only do I manage to publish consistently good content on a regular basis, I also manage to hold thoughtful and productive discussions. I attribute this to the skills I obtained in journalism class.
But I think my story of how I began my foray into blogging is actually quite a fascinating one. For my old audience members who have followed me since the start, it will be a nostalgic trip. For my new audience members who have only recently begun to follow me, it will be an interesting piece of background history. It is also particularly relevant because my autism posts gained me several followers, and this will help expand the subject further.
So let’s turn back the clock!
There’s a war going on. The battlefield is not a country far and away from the public eye. It is in our own backyard, in an area where the entire population consists of civilians. It is an invisible war, a quiet crisis that speaks only when spoken to. That battlefield is the college campus. The battle is not between political adversaries but internal struggles with depression.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 6.7 percent of Americans are annually affected, making it the most ubiquitous mood disorder. Additionally, in 2009 the American College Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) found that nearly 30 percent of college students reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function” during the past year. College is a heavy hitter, as now students must deal with increased responsibilities while learning to function more independently. Maggie Alexander, a student Howard Community College, said, “[Depression] has made it harder to focus on my schoolwork and it has also gotten to the point where I have trust issues with most people if I don’t know them too well.”
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In 1983, the Durand Express ran an April Fool’s article detailing the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide. The weekly newspaper in Durand, Michigan reported the presence of the chemical present in the city’s water pipes. They warned of it being fatal if inhaled and the production of blistering vapors.
This was repeated on multiple occasions. It was first replicated by Eric Lechner, Lars Norpchen, and Matthew Kaufman. At the time, they were housemates at the University of California, Santa Cruz. This was built upon by Craig Jackson when he created the parody organization “Coalition to Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide”.
In 1997, Nathan Zohner used the hoax as an experiment in gullibility. What happened with that?
Photo by lauramusikanski at Morguefile.com
There is a dark story that I have bottled up for many years. It is one that took place over the span of many months, and one that has been slowly eating away at me for much longer. I wanted to write this many times before, but I also wanted it to be read. Now that my blog is (slightly) more visible, perhaps I can affect some change in whatever minuscule way.
I fell prey to a hard green ideology, one that brought me uncomfortably close to signing off on some very morally dubious actions. I was lucky to get out, but I also want to explain why I was attracted to it in the first place.
Every week, I meet up with my friends out in Columbia. Our stories are rich with larger-than-life accomplishments. In our efforts, we have saved kingdoms, faced off against fearsome dragons, explored strange and exotic lands, and have come across untold fortunes.
These are stories that come from our single greatest hobby: Dungeons and Dragons. For decades, the famed tabletop role-playing game has been a beacon of nerd culture. It has sparked the imaginations of countless people. But there has been something of a boom for the game as of late. Why is that?
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There’s been a persistent problem with me for quite some time. For many years, I’ve had to deal with weight issues. These issues were with me for a very long time, as my lifestyle was largely inactive.
For a while, my weight has remained in stasis around 256 pounds. I always knew I had to do something, but I always pushed it aside in favor of other issues.
One problem at a time. Take care of other stuff first, then come back to my weight.
At the time, this was a valid concern. I had many pressing issues and concerns that dwarfed my concern for weight loss. Not that I couldn’t devote any time to it, since it’s certainly possible to care about more than one thing.
But now, those concerns have largely been dealt with, and I am now confident in my ability to handle things that are thrown my way. So where do I even start?