More Astronomy? Why not!

sun o lantern
Courtesy NASA

Even the sun is getting into the holiday spirit by turning itself into what is quite possibly the largest jack-o-lantern in the Universe.

Yeah, yeah, I know. The theme of last week’s post was astronomy as well. But LOOK at this photo. Look at it and tell me that doesn’t put you in the mood to carve some pumpkins.

It’s been a soggy October so far, but Truman State University students (and students across the country) are gearing up for midterm break at last! What are your plans for break? (Besides some well-earned sleep of course.)

Ready? Lets do that thing where we do news stuff!


-Oil prices have dropped recently across the country by about 9 cents, and oil experts predict that prices will continue to be low at least for the rest of this month. This comes as demand for oil decreases, especially in Europe, as more oil is produced by Saudi Arabian countries.

-Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that he will be donating approximately $25 million to the CDC to help stop the spread of Ebola. Time to jump on the philanthropy bandwagon, other rich people of the world!

-Researchers at Cornell University have isolated the genes in houseflies that made them immune to the diseases that they carry and spread, as well as the code that allows them to dissolve their food (usually feces). This is good news for a number of reasons: replicating the fly’s ability to break matter down could lead to better waste management and a cleaner environment, and the isolation of their immunity genomes could help scientists develop cures for diseases that flies carry.



An Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops was recently held in Rome. Pope Francis called for the meeting to be held last year, and these particular meetings concerned the Family.

During the synod, the bishops released a preliminary report that seemed to reflect a more accepting view of homosexuals. While the report does not mention any changes to the Church’s opposition to gay marriage, the report contained sentiments expressing the Church’s view that gay people “have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.”

“Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?”

Gay rights groups have, of course, embraced these statements as a “breakthrough.” Conservative Catholic groups, on the other hand, see this as some sort of betrayal.
I just happen to be Catholic. So what do I think about it?
Here’s what I think about the whole matter. I agree wholeheartedly with what the bishops are saying; being gay does not make you some kind of monster. These are valuable human beings who deserve the exact same respect and dignity that all human beings should enjoy. In my opinion, sexuality in general (whether homo or hetero) should never have to be an issue as long as people behave responsibly and respect themselves and their partners, whether they are gay or straight alike.
I think this is a great step in the right direction to creating a more peaceful relationship between Catholics and gay people, and I’m glad that the Bishops (and Pope Francis) are taking these steps to make the Church more welcoming to all. Catholics often get a bad reputation in today’s society because people think we do not like gay people. Unfortunately this often IS the case, but it SHOULD NOT be the case. We are taught our whole lives to love human beings for who they are, in spite of their flaws. As long as we as Catholics recognize that we are all children of the same God, maybe we will find that we are not so different after all.
What do you think? Do you think this is good news? How do your beliefs differ from mine? Let me know in the comments section.



Kid President is at it again! This time he’s promoting the Socktober charity to help the homeless.



The weather in Mid-Missouri has been somewhat dreary of late, but there have been a couple of bright spots…and the results have been rather special.

Courtesy Melissa Trieweiler
Courtesy Melissa Trierweiler

From Columbia…

Courtesy KRCG13
Courtesy KRCG13

…to Jefferson City. Hang in there through this dreary weather…I suggest a nice hot cup of tea!

Courtesy Danny Jakle
Courtesy Danny Jakle

Have a fantastic week and if you happen to be a Truman student, enjoy your well-earned break!


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