Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Killing Them Softly: Assisted Suicide

Assisted Suicide
Is Assisted Suicide the Most Humane Way to End Unwanted Life?
Even though suicide is against the law in most of the United States, there are a few places – Oregon, Vermont and Washington – where that law has been turned on its head, providing for physician-assisted suicide (AS) for those victims of terminal and highly painful diseases.

One state, Montana, currently allows AS via a court ruling – what some would consider a legal precedent known as the Baxter decision. The physician responsible for this precedent-setting decision is Dr. Eric Kress, a family practitioner for 26 years. The incident itself, which ended the life of a terminally ill but mentally alert adult via prescription, has passed into history.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Unfair Labor Practices: Starbucks Lawsuit

Starbucks, one of the world’s most successful and largest coffee chains, is a customer favorite from the West to East Coast.  A corporation that started out in Seattle as a single retail store in 1971 expanded by great leaps and bounds in 40 plus years looks like a true success story for many business minded individuals.  The multi-million dollar corporation, with over 17,000 stores located internationally, offers numerous work opportunities for budding baristas and coffee aficionados, alike.  Many might think that Starbucks, keeping their small beginnings in mind, may make their employees their number one priority.  However, many Starbucks employees feel the brunt of a money hungry corporation rather than the “employee comes first” approach.  Employees, eager to fight for the respect they deserve are filing lawsuits against Starbucks to receive the workers’ compensation they are owed and rightly deserve; without baristas, Starbucks would not be what they are today.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weird and Strange Laws


Did you know that in Illinois it is illegal to have sex with a corpse? Or that in Michigan it is illegal to sell a duckling that has been dyed? Or that in New Mexico idiots are not allowed to vote, while in South Carolina a man can go to jail for a year for breaking a promise to marry a woman? There are hundreds of state laws that many might find to be weird, causing some to wonder about the story behind their passage. Every law was passed to solve a societal concern. In some cases that concern is shared by a large part of the population, while in other cases the law addresses an issue known to only a few. In still other cases the law was passed to address a concern once shared by many, but now shared by few.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Temperature In Relation To Coal Mining Accidents

Coal Mining History
Coal mining used to be a dirty, dangerous, soul-destroying job. It has since morphed into a dirty and dangerous but rather well-paid job whose toll on the environment has increased even as its toll on the health and well-being of miners has decreased.  

The American coal-mining industry began in the latter half of the 18th century, in Pennsylvania, which was even as late as 1995 the fourth largest coal-producing state in the United States. Miners were typically immigrants, though commonly from countries which also had mining operations, like Wales or Germany. Men who did not know how the mines worked were not welcome because their lack of experience usually ended up killing others in addition to themselves. The only certainty in a coal miner’s life was the ubiquitous presence of coal dust and “gob”; that is, high-potency methane gas. Both, though mitigated by various modern ventilation and filtering methods, remain a constant.