Sunday, January 9, 2011

Long Unemployment Leads to More Suicide

Today I saw an alarming subject while looking at a world newa magazine and wanted to post about theat instead of myself. Don't worry; I am still sufficiently self centered and am not going to turn into a political blogger or a news blogger. Sometimes what is going on in the world around me affects us on a personal enough level that we are distracted from how much we love obsessing about the things in our own heads, and today is one of those times.

So, unemployment causes spikes in depression and divorce (two leading causes of suicidal thoughts). Being unemployed forces you to look at not being able to care for yourself, and family, and being left without everything you've worked so hard for; even the prospect of being homeless. In modern life acquisition is how we measure success and when we stand to lose those possessions suidide begans to look loke a decent option. To me the correspondence of a spike in unemployment being followed by a spike in suicide is not surprising.

So why am I bringing it up? There is something surprising about these tales of the down-trodden. The surprise is not that in a recession we are more likely to give up, the shock is the responce of our government.

The government has decided the proper way to address the suicide/unemployment connection is to spend millions of dollars on further economic studies supporting the findings, setting up more volunteer crisis hotlines, and advertising the importance a=of those with steady incomes to show brotherly love to the under-employed. Now, looked at as individual efforts of good will, these efforts seem to be great strides by our government is taking, spending all this money, despite the recession, to find a happier America. Problem is these nice efforts aren't an attempt at a solution to the crisis but rather a way to deal with the crisis. Why isn't government sticking that money into employment so the grudgingly unemployed can help themselves?

Think about it, when you look at the world do you find it is complete? Is America producing at full capacity? Is the reason there is unemployment because there aren't enough things for the full population to be involved in? NO! I personally know that I want someone inventing ways to make my electronics work better, doing research on nutrition to offer me healthy options so I don't have to add food studies to my to-do list, and another freakin' check line opened so I don't have to wait behind twenty other people to buy my one sandwich. There are jobs to be created and people to fill them, so what is the problem? The money we have is being underutilized. We need our country's resources in the most efficient manner to produce most and employ most. In turn the country will have a natural upturn. The economy and the mood will go up and suicide rates will go down.

There is a hopelessness in idle hands and idle minds, but that is much more than this topic and this post can cover. The point is, I think Americans have just enough on their plates to keep them busy enough to keep their heads down, but this is still the people's country and the people need to look more closely at false solutions to find ways to live instead of ways to deal with whatever tradgedy strikes. We need to band together behind solutions because polititions need the majority to pursaude them onto a new path of thought. Remeber the problem solving classes we all took in school and solve problems not avoiding them with coping methods.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I'm Challenged!

It's time for the Debut Author's Challenge where we challenge ourselves to read books by new YA authors. This challenge not only helps us discover new authors but challenges us to support as many as possible so they can continue to be awesome. Clink the following link to join the debut author's challenge 2011.*

And here are some books I find intriguing from authors Debuting YA books in 2011. I will pick at least 9** books from this list to read this year.

-- Form: Title by Author (Announced Release date) One sentance description. Why I'm intrigued.

The Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson (January 8) Two girls create and sell a shirt addressing current racism to earn money for a post-graduation trip. These girls shake things up addressing the racism faced by those of mixed background with a little creativity, humor, and action.

XVI by Julia Karr (January 6)Girls are branded on their sixteeth birthday to be persecuted by the media and persued by violent sexual preditors. The main charactor in this story is dealing with the presure of turning sixteen in this world as well as solving her mother's murder.

Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer (February 15) Rivals in an opera competition and ex-friends start to wonder if the solace they need can be best found in each other. Unlikely friendship may prevail amoungst over achievers in competion with each other.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (February 15) A girl finds she is the reincarnation of a great warrior and could be a turning point in the on-going battle between Angels and Demons. The eternal fight is always a great premise for a story.

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (February 22) A girl dies after falling for a fallen angel and is endowed with a curios power. More Angels!

Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker (March 1) A girl recieves an email from her best friend, who recently died. Messages from the dead and mysteries about the circumstances of mysterious deaths.

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O' Roark Dowell (March 22) Janie will never be normal, but maybe that's for the best. No matter what society, especially high school society, says normal is boring; I much prefer wierd.

Blood Magic by Tess Gratton (April 26) Two people find each other among dark memories, death, magic, and the secrets of blood. Darkness, magical, the potential to find love while coming out of tragedy.

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky (May 23) A life lived online, its safe and easy, but is there something to the whole face-to-face closeness thing? Um, how could I resist a book about is about relationships online or IRL.***

Saving June by Hannah Harrington (May ?****) When her sister commits suicide Harper goeson a road trip and runs into a boy who may be able to reveal her sister's secrets. Suicide is a popular theme in YA lately, and, so far, the results are touching, and thoughtful; even enlightening.

Hereafter by Tara Hudson (June 7) Amelia knows she's a ghost, she doesn't remeber anything else, but suddenly she sees a boy drowning and ignores her problems to save his life. Mysterious: How did she die and noow that she has saved this guy what will happen next?

Vicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer (June 21) All girls school, broken friendship, obsession and death. I have to admit I devoured Pretty Little Liars like crack (secretly in a dark closet) and this book has the same pull.

Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard (June 14) Alex is wrought with guilt after a friend's death but finds the support he needs in the new young English teacher. I love stories about fantastic teachers.

Wildefire by Karsten Knight (July 26) Ash is only a sixteen year old girl, she also happens to be a Polynesian volcano goddess. High School and mythology, what else do you need?

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (August 2) An Urban Legend may be true after all. Urban Legend? say no more, I'm hooked.

My Un-fairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski (September ?) Actually contains many fairy tale creatures, They just aren't anything like your parents told you. 2 words: Bloodthirsty Unicorns.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (September ?) Anna was brutally murdered in 1958 and now takes revenge on anyone that enters her former home; Cas is supposed to dispose of dangerous poltergeists; but somehow when the meet things change for both of them. The title of this burns in the mind, and more than that, myterious ghostly girl, very exciting.

May B by Caroline Starr Rose (September 13) Abandoned on the neighbor's farm when a brutal winter rolls in. A tale of self-reliance, self- discovery, and survival.

Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic (NRD*****) What would you do if you knew how much time you had left? Hmmmm...what would someone do if they knew the end was near?

*There are potential prizes just for joining. Awesome prizes just for reading great books! Really check it out!
**I will be looking for books debuting October - December later as their aren't many descriptions out for books with later release dates.
***IRL (in real life.)
**** ? someday in this month, maybe.
***** No Release Date

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Time for Challenges!

Happy New Year's Eve!

Another year is ending and I hope everyone is having a great time celebrating. But now is the time to consider what is coming for us and what we want to shoot for.

I know a lot of people who aren't making resolutions this year because they believe they are worthless and no one keeps them anyway... This makes me sad. There are many benefits to having goals.

Stay Motivated
Give your life directed purpose
Make your hard work worthwhile
Organize your life based on personal priorites
Be specific about what you want

Make sure to write them down; give yourself a focal point to come back to and remember what you promised to reach for. When deciding what to reach for remeber this is the pursuit of your happiness; make sure your goals are things that bring you joy. Don't let society or family and peers influence you or impress their goals upon your own. If you choose goals that excite you, you will stick to them. Every step won't be easy but the accomplishments will make you exultant.

I know it's a corny reminder, but you only one life to live. Shouldn't you aim towards what makes you happy?

So here are my goals for the coming year:

1. Get into a healthy shape - so I can be active and even run around with the kid.
2.Read two books every month - This includes at least six closet cloggers (books I already own) and 12 selections from the Debut Authors Elevensies (class of 2K11 challenge).*
3. Make my degree worth something and augment my education as much as possible to make this easier. (Read publications from IEEE)
4.Start earning my way, ie making some freaking money with all this knowledge I keep acquiring. This includes getting a job I want to go to in the morning, not one I dread.

Good luck with your dreams, don't forget you're the key in making them reality.

*The debut author challenge is a reading challenge supporting new YA authors coming out with their first books this year. This challenge is strongly supported by The Story Siren and this is the third year going strong. I will do a post shortly joining the challenge, giving info to others who want to join and introducing some books I'm excited about.