Are You Being Influenced or Manipulated?

Article Summary:

Dr. Matthew James discusses the difference between manipulation and influence.  An interesting point they make is that children are manipulative in that they understand which behaviors will get attention from their parents.  In these situations, the parent has complete control over their own life.  They can tend to the needs of their child or they can be neglectful.  In contrast to manipulation, influence is given a positive connotation in regards to interaction with others or perception of others.

How to Train the Aging Brain Summary:

Barbara Strauch, editor of the New York Times, seeks to dispel the popular belief that an aging brain cannot learn as well.  Strauch mentions how she certainly tends to forget things now that she is growing older.  However, an old brain can still learn and develop.  The type of learning that works best is not new information, but rather acquisition of different viewpoints in order to challenge current knowledge.

Pennsylvania Taxpayers Will Shell Out Big Bucks To Defend Unpopular Gay Marriage Ban

Leaving_courthouse_on_first_day_of_gay_marriage_in_WashingtonArticle summary:

This article explains how Pennsylvanian taxpayers will soon be paying at least $400/hr for Governor Tom Corbett to hire the William H. Lamb law firm to fight a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s 1996 ban on gay marriage. Additionally, Steve Esack of The Morning Call (a Lehigh Valley newsource) claims that associates from a separate law firm working on the case will earn $325/hr, and neither of these prices covers additional payments for state lawyers also working on the case.The worst part is that all of this money is going to the losing side of an argument; a poll from Franklin & Marshall College found that, by a 52 to 41 percent margin, Pennsylvanians support marriage equality.

Obama and aides confront skeptical Congress on Syria strike

Syria-Civil-WarArticle Summary:

Following the recent chemical weapons attack in Damascus, Syria, President Obama has advocated for United States led military action in Syria for ‘humanitarian purposes.’[1] The Syrian Civil war began more than two years ago and has claimed the lives of over 90,000 people. Although President Obama, as Commander in Chief, has the authority to order military action in Syria, he has chosen to let Congress decide on this issue. Last year, President Obama claimed that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a red line for the United States.

Chaos Theory

butterfly_effect_1_by_borisdelac-d5nl1vdArticle Summary:

One premise of IMT is that there is no randomness, that there are “natural laws and initial conditions [that] define all events, and all event outcomes are predictable with all information” (28). The assumption that there exists no randomness is subject to closer examination. There exists a theory called Chaos Theory, also known as the butterfly effect. An article by Margaret Rouse discusses the implications of this theory, which looks to research by Edward Lorenz. Lorenz found that if you set up the exact same initial conditions to predict weather conditions, the outcomes are drastically different and unpredictable. The article states, “the slightest difference in initial conditions-beyond human ability to measure-made prediction of past or future outcomes impossible, an idea that violated the basic conventions of physics” (Rouse, 2008). This article provides an example of the unpredictability of a final outcome based on a set of initial conditions—which refutes a major component of IMT theory.

The Drug War And Mass Incarcerations By The Masses

CocainebricksArticle Summary:

The Obama Administration, in its 2013 budget, has requested $25.6 billion in federal spending for the war against drugs. The Drug Policy Alliance estimates that “when you combine state and local spending on everything from drug-related arrests to prison, the total cost adds up to at least $51 billion per year.” Over the course of the last 40 years, it’s estimated that American taxpayers have spent almost $1 trillion on a war that has accomplished the following: an unchanged drug addiction rate and the world’s highest incarceration rate. The American Civil Liberties Union has identified that the U.S. has only 5% of the world’s total population, but 25% of the world’s prison population. Equally as surprising, just under half of the people currently incarcerated in the US are there for non-violent crimes.

How Time Flies as We Get Older!

600px-Eternal_clockArticle Reference:     

64 year old Diana Nyad finally accomplished swimming the 110miles between Cuba and Florida in 52 hours and 54 minutes. This was her 5th and final try as she had failed four times before. “You’re never too old to chase your dreams”, Niad said to the crowd as she emerged from the water in Florida. The long swim has been attempted many times before, often causing swimmers to get jellyfish stings, sunburns, blisters and hallucinations. The last successful crossing was 22 year old Susan Maroney, who used a shark cage to cross from Cuba to Fl in 1977.  When Nyad was asked why she attempted such a dangerous feat in the first place, she responded “I am stunned, at age 61, at how fast it all flies by,” explaining her motivation to keep going. “My mom just died. We blink and another decade passes. I don’t want to reach the end of my life and regret not having given my days everything in me to make them worthwhile.”

Doctor stops accepting insurance, lowers prices and posts costs online

DoctorArticle Summary:

A doctor in Maine is refusing all forms of health care in order to provide better and cheaper service to his patients. He is also posting costs online to make sure his patients know what the costs will be so there will be no surprises. This has allowed him to lower prices and act in the best interest of the patients instead of being dictated by the insurance companies. The article identifies that a visit that would usually cost $160 now only costs him $75. Patients can still file a claim with their insurance company if their insurance allows it.