Why We Need Sex Ed NOW

I was sent this infographic by a new group called Public Health Resources. According to their website, the group’s purpose is to provide a source of information and resources for people who are interested in pursuing a degree in public health. The infographic is called Why We Need Sex Ed Now. Here’s what the creators have to say about the project:

Today it’s pretty clear that abstinence-only education doesn’t work — and scientific studies prove it. Not only does it not work though, it actually worsens the problems that it claims to solve. States where abstinence-only education reigns supreme have the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the United States. At the same time, states that favor comprehensive sexual education — the type that teaches students about birth control — have the lowest levels of teen pregnancy.

Teen pregnancy rates are often closely mirrored with a nation’s public health status because high rates of pregnancy suggest a lack of protection during sex. And of course, a lack of protection leads to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases. Every two minutes in the United States 3 teens get pregnant, and more than 80% of these pregnancies are unintended. We need sex ed now: not just as a matter of public health, but as a matter of sustaining the robust society that America has built over time. This graphic lays out all the facts and makes the case for protection.

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Women Deliver 50

This is exciting.

Women Deliver is a global advocacy group that works to enable safe motherhood, gender equality, girls’ education, poverty reduction, combating HIV/AIDS, maternal and newborn health, and other issues that are related to helping women lead healthy, happy, fulfilling lives.

Women Deliver has been hosting a contest called Women Deliver 50, in which they received over 500 nominations of projects that are meant to benefit women in the areas of

  • Technologies and Innovations
  • Educational Initiatives
  • Health Modernization
  • Advocacy and Awareness Campaigns
  • Leadership and Empowerment Programs

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Buccaneer’s Ball in Photos


Last Wednesday a bunch of friends and I went to the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Social Science event, Buccaneer’s Ball. Social Science is a quarterly event that SMM holds on a weeknight after normal business hours. The event is restricted to people who are at least 21 years old. The museum brings in cash bars, appetizers, dancers and actors, DJs and special exhibits. The coolest thing for me about Social Science is seeing adults enjoying the regular exhibits (the ones that are usually filled with little kids) – and watching that sense of wonder and curiosity that is usually reserved for a younger set play across their faces.

The featured exhibit this time around was Real Pirates – Arrrr! The friends that I went with are geeks, cosplayers, Ren Fest participants and con-goers, so naturally this happened:

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All About the Duggars

“I understand that we have this thing called “freedom of religion” in our country, but I also believe that children have a right to an education, and teaching children one side of everything becomes indoctrination rather than education.”

Isn’t that a great sentiment?

I have never watched the Duggar’s TV show. The only things that I’d learned about the “19 and counting” family were whatever I happened to glean from magazine covers while waiting in the grocery store check-out line. But I recently ran across Libby Anne’s post on the perception of the Duggars as a happy, smiling, magazine cover-ready family vs. the reality that is their religion-centered and over-crowded life, and I was blown away. Libby Anne comes from a Quiverfull family; she recognizes aspects of the Duggar’s family from her own experiences, and she brings this insight to play in her analysis. I was spellbound. And horrified. And I couldn’t stop reading it. The sentence that I first quoted from her post at the start of this blog really caught my attention, and Libby Anne makes a number of other thought-provoking observations in her piece. If you have any interest in this subject I recommend Libby Anne’s take on it.

Cross-Country Connections: Homemade

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in very different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Homemade.

From Erin in Bellingham, Washington:

Here’s a Tiny Dinosaur I knit from a pattern here, posing in the only plant I’ve ever kept alive for longer than 6 months.

From Mom in Carbondale, Illinois:

My Steampunk chapeau I made for Halloween rests on the perfect “hat stand” an antique anniversary clock.

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

The Hubby has been taking a lot of leatherwork classes lately. This is his most recent project. The method used to create the dragon on the vegetable-tanned leather is called “tooling” and the 3-D look (which isn’t immediately obvious in this photo) is called “embossing”. The next step is painting and then framing.

Reader Question: Same Sex Marriage

I received this email from a reader:

Here in Minnesota, people will be voting on an amendment to ban same-sex marriage in November. Considering the fact that most voters are religious, isn’t voting on how other people have sex, or who other people can marry, an instance of forcing people to obey religious tenets that they don’t believe in?

What are your thoughts on this?

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Welcome, Newly Gay Brethren!

Well, crap. I got stuck in the lab until 8:30pm last night and then selfishly slept an entire eight hours, so I didn’t finish photo editing and writing up the Pirates at the Museum post. But I did get a few minutes to chip away at Google Reader, and in doing so I found this gem.

Seen at Joe.My.God

This is response to the Mormon Baptism of the Dead (link goes to Wikipedia). If you do a google search for “Mormon Baptism of the Dead” you can find this explanation of the ritual on ldschurchtemples.com:

Many people have died without receiving a valid baptism, and they cannot undergo this precious ritual as mere spirits. “Because all on the earth do not have the opportunity to accept the gospel during mortality, the Lord has authorized baptisms performed by proxy for the dead. Therefore, those who accept the gospel in the spirit world may qualify for entrance into God’s kingdom” (See Guide to the Scriptures). One thing that should be made perfectly clear about Mormon baptisms for the dead is that each deceased soul has the personal choice to accept or reject it. There is nothing in Mormonism that states that the person who is being baptized by proxy must accept this ordinance; he or she is simply given the opportunity to choose.

So you don’t have to worry about forcing homosexuality on anybody. Their spirit selves can just reject it. But you know…once you go FABULOUS, I imagine its pretty hard to go back.

Social Science Preview

Unfortunately I must be away to work this morning, but I have fabulous stories to tell from last night’s Social Science event, Buccaneer’s Ball, at the Minnesota Science Museum. I’ve just whipped though all of the pictures I took yesterday, and I think that this photo captures the mood of the evening – dinosaurs, drinks and dancing pirates!

More later this evening!

What A Scientist Looks Like

Have you guys seen this website? I love stories, and the website This Is What A Scientist Looks Like is chock full of ’em. This description of the project is from the “Stereotypes” section.

This website is dedicated to changing the overwhelming stereotype that science is conducted behind closed doors by unapproachable old, white men. While some scientists do work in a lab, others spend their days traveling the world looking for rare insects, or underwater studying sharks, or up a volcano collecting rocks. Scientists enjoy food, dancing, music, and traveling. There are many women in science, and the number of minorities in the field is steadily increasing.

You can even submit a photo of your own!

These are a few of the photos from This Is What A Scientist Looks Like. Go visit the website to read about their fields of research and practice, and to learn a bit more about them as people.