Friday, April 15, 2016

The Week of 4/11/16 in a Glance

Hello Everyone,
First, if you read our last post and you were confused, we hope you realize that it was actually an "april fools" post. This week, our four pieces are all real, even Rose's (Some of us didn't even believe that one at first) Next, we want you to remember that we love suggestions on what to write about! Email us at with any topics you want to learn about. We hope you enjoy this week's glance.
-The 'Glance editors

Equal Pay Day
By Maddy Art

         I wish that, with a title like this, I could be writing an uplifting post about how women miraculously will now be getting paid equally to men. Nope. Tuesday, April 12 was equal pay day, the day that marked the amount of time that it took into 2016 for women to make the same amount of money that men made in 2015. To clarify, that means that it took women fifteen and a half months to earn what men made in twelve. Hooray. Although the gender pay gap has been reduced in the past decades, the average woman still earns just 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Moreover, the gap increases when you take data focusing on women of color, particularly black and Latina women. So, how can this be legal? Well, it technically violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 for women to be paid less than men for similar work, but due to abundant loopholes, it still happens customarily. In 2014, legislation to attempt to reduce the gap came a few votes short of passing. While paychecks are certainly not the only means of measuring gender equality, Equal Pay Day is a good reminder that there is still a ways to go for women to be treated equally to men.

The Breakthrough Starshot Project
By Rose Gotlieb

Let’s just say that the russian billionaire Yuri Milner really wants to find E.T. Last year, he invested 100 mil - a lot more than Kim Kardashian’s engagement ring - in the effort to look into the skies for extra-terrestrial activity. This year, he’s decided to take a 25.6 trillion mile step further by sending a bunch of tiny spacecrafts to the closest star system, Alpha Centauri.
Won’t that take about a trillion years? With the help of genius Stephen Hawking, Milner proposes an entire fleet of postage-stamp-sized spacecrafts with meter-wide sails to fly out. Because of their small size, they would travel faster - with the help of a laser beam sent from Earth. Ever seen Doctor Who? It’s pretty much that. They would move about one-fifth the speed of light and reach their destination in 20 years.
What’s the catch? $5-10...billion. But if anyone can do it, Stephen Hawking can.

Religious Freedom or Discrimination?
By Owen Tucker-Smith

This past Thursday, Mississippi’s governor signed a religious freedom bill that quickly became controversial. The “freedom” bill gave businesses the option to not serve members of the LGBT community because of their religious beliefs. A lot of this kind of action has been happening recently, though. This isn’t a first.

What? Recently North Carolina passed a bill that stated that local governments didn’t have the power to pass any sort of anti-discrimination laws. It also made transgender citizens use the bathroom of their biological sex, not of their preference. After this law was passed there was also huge controversy, even from large businesses. For instance, PayPal, an online payment company, was planning on opening a center in North Carolina. Plan scratched. PayPal didn’t want to be located in a place of such discrimination.

What’s this new bill? The governor claimed that the bill was passed to expand religious freedom after it had been minimized last year (when the supreme court allowed gay and lesbian couples to be married). Key word: marriage. Because the law was passed, gay and lesbian citizens can be denied services such as marriage licenses, wedding venues, or even flowers for their wedding because of the person’s religious beliefs. They can also be denied of other services such as housing, and business.

How do people feel? As you would expect. There’s been protesting. Lots of protesting. Some think that this bill does really protect people's’ religious rights, some think it doesn’t. Many, like us, believe that laws like this are just ways to slowly pick away at the progress that we made last year when the supreme court passed their law. Every bill that is made like this one and North Carolina’s is just another form of discrimination. A large step backwards.

Another Update on the Zika Virus
By Owen Tucker-Smith

We’ve talked about the Zika virus before. It is that mosquito born disease that gave joint pain, rashes fever, and was dangerous for pregnant women as it was connected to birth defects. The CDC has acted on it as much as they could, but recently the virus has been spreading extremely fast, through the Caribbean, Latin America, and finally the US. The first sign of the disease  in the US was in Texas, and it was passed not from a bug, but by sex (we’ve attached an article about it, 2nd one down) The virus has spread through many states. Recently the not-so-magic number was 12. Now the CDC has announced that it is present in 30 states, a more than double increase. And there’s more bad news. We thought that the virus was a large threat mainly to pregnant women, but scientists in Brazil say no. They have found that the virus may be linked in some way to a brain disorder, which opens up the field to all adults

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