Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

....

Wow...Mick Jagger and David Bowie...speechless...

Friday, August 19, 2011

SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?

This woman honestly wants to become the world's fattest person. She wants to try and reach a ton but has to get to at least 1,600 lbs which is the current record holder. GROSS!!!


I’m supersizing to be the world’s fattest woman, says 52st mother of two (but she’s only halfway there)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coexistance is Possible!

This is a truly heartwarming account of Israeli women risking their lives and liberty to help Palestinian women have a bit more of an enjoyable life. It isn't all hatred as many seem to believe. I heard Rep Cantor say that Palestinians "are bred in hate and intolerance." This is disgustingly false (admittedly, it does hold true for some, but not all as Cantor alluded). I am glad that some Jews are able to see through this net of lies.



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In light of the Oslo tragedy...

Why are our police (collectively, not just the US) so slow to do their jobs until after the fact? We get too lax in our prosperity that we don't see things coming even when they are advertised aplenty.

The surprise is that we are still surprised.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

They're climbing in your windows and they're snatching yo' people up...so you better...

If this doesn't make sense to you, either you were born in the 90's, or you haven't seen these youtube sensations: 1 & 2.

Tragedy in Norway

A tragedy struck Norway yesterday. A right-wing Christian extremist planted a bomb at a government people killing 7 and causing much damage. This is where it gets disgusting: he brings a shotgun, machine gun, and pistol to a camp of teenagers on a nearby island and kills 80 or so more. They fear the death toll will rise to 98 soon. It is possible he wasn't acting alone. If this kind of tragedy can happen there, in the quiet country of Norway, we most certainly are not immune. Pray for those people suffering.
Norwegians are mourning the victims of a vicious attack at an island youth camp and in the capital Oslo.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Women Activists


This brave woman and countless others are beginning to demand their rights as human beings. We must support them and others vying for freedom worldwide.


A Saudi woman whose imprisonment for driving drew global attention for the issue says she is more determined than ever to continue her campaign.

Proud Sponsers of Movember

Laugh Out Loud

FYI: Read Wikipedia's account of the Moustache. It is quite interesting. To whet your appetite:
In Western cultures women generally avoid the growth of facial hair; though some are capable, the majority of these women use some form of depilation to remove it. In rare circumstances, women may choose to embrace this growth, often in the form of thin moustaches. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo famously depicted herself in her artwork with both a moustache and a unibrow. This tradition is followed by some contemporary women in the arts.

Russia has always been a little behind....

So it seems that Russia finally declared beer as not food but rather alcohol. I had to re-read that. But, yes, you read right. President Medvedev signed a bill saying this officially. Interesting...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I LOVE Emma Watson

So, beginning with the 4th Harry Potter movie, I recognized Emma Watson as a rising beauty. Then with 5, it was certain. Now that she's finished both the 7th movies, I think I am in love. How could she get better you ask? Well, read on dear readers and find out...


"I find the whole concept of being ‘sexy’ embarrassing and confusing. If I do an interview with photographs people desperately want to change me - dye my hair blonder, pluck my eyebrows, give me a fringe. Then there’s the choice of clothes. I know everyone wants a picture of me in a mini-skirt. But that’s not me. I feel uncomfortable. I’d never go out in a mini-skirt. It’s nothing to do with protecting the Hermione image. I wouldn’t do that. Personally, I don’t actually think it’s even that sexy. What’s sexy about saying, ‘I’m here with my boobs out and a short skirt, have a look at everything I’ve got?’ My idea of sexy is that less is more. The less you reveal the more people can wonder." 



WWIII?

I have thought this for a few years now, and it seems Al Jazeera is justifying me. With an ever increasing world population, how are we going to feed them and give them to drink? Good question, right? Well, this article talks about the problems with it. Definitely worth reading.

Almost half of humanity will face water scarcity by 2030 and strategists from Israel to Central Asia prepare for strife.

ps it is interesting that the US doesn't have that problem so much. brings new meaning to the term "promised land" eh?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

For what it's worth...

Right Change proudly presents Raiders of the Lost Mubarak, a PolitiZoid picture. Join Illinois Obama and Delaware Joe as they discover that foreign policy is not just a distraction from their domestic agenda, it's an adventure!
Pretty Funny!

Boy can he sing!

For all you opera fans, this is a must see. For all you people who want a good laugh, this is still a must see. INCREDIBLE!


Who's the bigger celebrity? Beiber or Obama?

Who is going to attract the bigger crowd? Read and find out who!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Visit Egypt!!!

Egypt's economy relies on tourism (and the Suez canal and cotton...not too diverse), and since the revolts, tourism has plummeted. Consider it for your next vacation, you'll love it! Well worth it!!

A non-Mormon thoughts on the Book of Mormon production

I'll confess, I wasn't too eaten up about the whole Book of Mormon musical thing as being super offensive. Maybe because, as Mormons, we have become used to disparaging remarks and negative lime-light. Maybe because I never really cared for what people thought. Probably mostly because I know what I believe in, and no matter what anyone else says, truth is truth. And I know that the Book of Mormon (the book, not the show) is a work inspired by God, it's truth. However, this article really was profound. The author, John Mark Reynolds, is not a Mormon. But he stands up for truth and rights, and I like that. This is an awesome article, not about the truth of Mormons, but about respecting religions and minorities. Have at it!


PS Amos and Andy was a show in the early 1900's about 2 African American fellows. According to some, the show pandered to "lower-class segregations" with "crude, repetitious and moronic dialogue." Apparently no one likes being cast in a negative light, go figure!

Only watch after 11:00 PM...

Thanks Chad for this one, I watched it at 10:45 but it was still funny

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Something a Little More Light Hearted

This video is HILARIOUS! Sorry for jumping on the cat band-wagon...but this one is different. Watch it, you won't regret it!

You can thank me later.

Tales of Heroism from Mexico

This teacher is a true hero! In the midst of a gang shoot out, she took charge of her kids, got them to safety, and sang songs to them to calm them down. Can you imagine yourself in her shoes? I sure can't.

Mexico teacher sings to schoolchildren during shoot-out

A nursery school teacher in Mexico has been hailed a hero after a video showed her calmly instructing her pupils to duck and cover and sing songs as a fierce gun battle raged outside their school.

Of Bambi and Forest Conservation

This article was super interesting on the impact of deer on forests. Apparently, deer gobble up all the new vegetation and don't allow anything else to regrow. This is a problem because in the future when the trees fall, the deer will eat anything before it can grow into an adult tree. Kind of changes the movie Bambi a bit, huh?

Growing Deer Population Hurts Survival Of Forests

 The white-tailed deer was a rare creature across the East Coast 100 years ago. Now it is widely overpopulated, but what does that mean for forests? A decades-long experiment has found unsettling implications for bio-diversity and the long-term survival of forests.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Voting for a Mormon?!?

So, Warren Cole Smith wrote an article saying why voting for a Mormon is wrong. Michael Otterson, head of public affairs for the LDS church, wrote an answer back that is profoundly simple. He debunks this author's 3 unfounded claims and does so in a clear, concise and loving way. I highly recommend reading this article before elections if you are hesitant about voting for a Mormon. And if you are Mormon, please don't vote for a Mormon solely based on the fact that he is Mormon. Being a Mormon does not qualify him for public office. Having a sound "grasp of economics, of foreign policy, of education and health care, of their skills as commander in chief. [And]...how they respond to crises, their core values and ability to unite and rally the American people" Does that sound fair?

A Mormon Perspective on Peace in the Middle East

Ever wondered what a Latter Day Saint (Mormon) believes concerning what's going on in the Middle East? This article gives a great perspective that is often lost! A must read for someone interested in the Middle East!

I often am frustrated at how many members of the church so blindly support all that Israelis do to the Palestinians, and they in turn can't understand how I can be sympathetic to a people who blow up innocent civilians. Well, this articles encourages moderation. Because, lets be honest, both sides have done some terrible, terrible things

A Latter-day Saint View of the Conflict in the Holy Land
by D. Kelly Ogden

Ever thought something was wrong with our country nowadays?

Well, this author presents some interesting points, click here to read

Throughout history, the greatest and most splendid of empires have fallen. Babylon. Rome. The Mongols. The Islamic Empire. The Turks. Great Britain. Is America immune? 

(or click on the title)

Decline and fall of the American empire

The economic powerhouse of the 20th century emerged stronger from the Depression. But faced with cultural decay, structural weaknesses and reliance on finance, can the US do it again?
"America must rediscover the qualities that originally made it great. That will not be easy."

On a lighter note, but almost equally as motivational...

Believe in yourself and others and great things will happen!

How to Start a Revolution

In light of the incredible things happening across the world now, learn about this man who helped foster the peaceful ideals that toppled dictators. Only time will tell what will come of these revolutions. Will Egypt become a vibrant democracy with Christian and Muslim living and working side by side? Or will it fall to the grasp of the Muslim Brotherhood and become a theocracy of Muslim oppressors? Whatever the case may be, the world will not be the same. We need to be aware of what's going on. This is the main reason why I am changing my blog around. To help promote American awareness. Here's to being enlightened!

(check out this website and video to learn more)

I'm mixing things up!

So, I keep finding videos, pictures, and news topics that I find amazing, and I keep posting them on facebook, but I feel like everyone gets tired of me posting them, so I am going to dedicate my blog to posting important news articles, awesome videos, motivating pictures, and an occasional post like the one below. So, here's to a fresh start! I already have a few lined up!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

In the Company of Giants


So good news: I FINALLY GOT AN INTERNSHIP. I'll be working with the Institute of International Education. Exciting. However, I don't start till Monday. Therefore, I have a few days to explore the city, and since everyone else is working, I get to do it alone (which I actually really enjoy). Today, I decided I was going to walk back to the Lincoln Memorial/Washington Monument/the rest of those big ones. That's when I had an amazing experience!

When I arrived there, a huge group of old war veterans were present.

It was such an amazing experience to be walking around areas like the Korean War monument amongst people who served there. Also, seeing a Vietnam veteran touching the names of his old companions was heartbreaking.


It brought me to tears seeing such heroic and noble men who went through these great and incredible sacrifices to allow us to continue to enjoy our freedoms. I thought about myself and my friends and the rest of the youth from this decade and honestly didn't think that we could undergo the same travails they did. I felt so immature and unworthy being amongst such incredible men.


I know it is only a movie, but having watched Band of Brothers helped me to imagine in an infinitesimally small way what these noble souls underwent. I wanted desperately to shake one of their hands and thank them for their service but I was so moved that I couldn't find the words. I want to make up for it here by saying to all veterans and to all those currently serving, THANK YOU! Freedom isn't free and I appreciate what you do more than words can express. And thank you dad for serving the country for 20 years.
 
(You can't read the sign but it says that each star represents 100 deaths during WWII. WOW!)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

It ain't all that bad..

So, I am currently in Chicago on a road trip to DC from Provo. We spent the day exploring downtown. It was a lot of fun, but I forgot how tiring tourism is. 
 
I also learned why they call it the windy city. It was so cold! 
After a long day of walking and exploring, we escaped the cold to sip on some hot chocolate. While I was waiting for warmth to seep back into my frozen members, I tried to get my numb fingers to turn the pages of the US Times. While glancing through the headlines I couldn’t help but notice how crazy this world has gotten.
(this is a clip I took about 2 months ago, things look grim eh?)
The first article that caught my attention involved Egypt. It talked about the female journalist that was sexually molested while covering the downfall of an oppressive tyrant. Then I read about the tornadoes that ravaged the south leaving over 200 dead. The picture made me think of the earthquake/hurricane that desolated poor Japan. Then I read about the Senator who was shot by a severely misguided constituent. I also read about the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad who is butchering his people who are demanding more freedom, which obviously lead to me reading about the tyrant in Libya. While touring Chicago I saw homelessness, drunkards, and smokers. In such a small amount of time I witnessed firsthand depravity and read about atrocities and natural disasters that are plaguing the world. It is easy to get bogged down amid such tragic world conditions. However, the love of God is still manifest in people.
I saw people open doors for others, random strangers snapped pictures for us and we didn’t fear them running off with the camera, we navigated downtown and were not troubled in anyway. People were doing their jobs, volunteering, polite, friendly, and all-around decent human beings. I was able to briefly hold conversations with strangers from other races and backgrounds.
There is still so much good in the world, don’t let the bad bog you down. We are a blessed and progressing people. If we each look out for others and remember that regardless of race, religion, or origin, we are all children of the same God. Love and service are what can unite us as a people to face the coming calamities.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can we call it music?

Dictionary.com defines music as this:
1) an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.
and
6) any sweet, pleasing, or harmonious sound or sounds
Based on definition one, I have to concede that much of today's "music" is in fact music. However, I refer to #6 to claim that it is in fact not really music. How can some of that be called sweet or pleasing?!?
I understand how taste in music is very subjective and to each their own, but after listening to music with my neighbors (sorry gals), I realized that these kids (I say that because I am 4-5 years older than them) are growing up with terrible music. I am referring mostly to rap/hip-hop. Sure, sure, I understand some can make the case for them being good or whatever, but let's be honest, a lot of it is garbage. For example, my neighbors showed me a song in which T-Pain (I think I got it right) sang a song entitled, "take your shirt off" with the chorus being a bit more vulgar, "take your mutha f&*%ing shirt off." Wow, seriously? Listening to the vulgar and degrading lyrics of much of these music in and of itself is damaging enough, but there is no creativity. They all deal with money and sex. They often rip off other songs to make their own renditions. If I cared more, I could go further into arguing about it, but I that isn't the purpose of this post.
I realized that bands from previous generations are now going largely unnoticed and forgotten. Songs and bands that I grew up are disappearing. So, this post is dedicated to the youth today who have forgotten about good music. Enjoy these songs!
70's
Tangerine-Led Zeppelin
Hurting Each Other-The Carpenters
Ground Control to Major Tom-David Bowie
80's
Hold Me Now-The Thompson Twins
Where the Streets Have No Name-U2
Livin' on a Prayer- Bon Jovi
90's
Lightening Crashes-Live
Dreams-The Cranberries
Unforgiven-Metallica
God of Wine-Third Eye Blind
These are just a few songs that I love and I think should be heard more often!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Admiration

"But where some say is the king of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind."
-Thomas Paine

As I look back on 24+ years of life and reflect how I got to be where I am now, I can't help but feel gratitude to those who have participated in my formation. I could spend time reflecting on the countless faces who in a way, some more than others, are responsible for Sean McGrath (whether good or bad). I could spend paragraphs explaining how the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ gives me the hope to continue on, how the unwavering faith and love of my father has set an indelible example of how to love and treat a women, or how my sweet  mother has taught me faith amidst insurmountable trials, or Martin Luther who had the courage to say that something was wrong, or Joseph Smith for being brave enough to ask for the truth and the courage to follow it through and so on and so forth.

However, recently, I have developed a new hero. Someone, who to me, embodies all that is American, virtuous, and courageous. This hero goes by the name of:
 
Thomas Paine. How many of us have heard of Thomas Paine? Probably a good majority, and we probably can name his most famous work: Common Sense. However, how many of us have read it? How many of us are familiar with both the story contained within its pages as well as the story behind this book? Few. Few indeed. How many of us know that we can accredit the name "the United States of America" to Thomas Paine? Him being the first to publish it in writ. We now very little about one whom all should know about. He died a rather embarrasing death. Only 6 mourners came to his funeral and it was said that "he did some good, and much harm." Yet, this man was so immensely important that John Adams reportedly said "Without the pen of the author of 'Common Sense,' the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain."


So, who was this man? He was born in England, failed in almost everything he tried on that continent. He got fired twice from his job as a tax collector, failed in two marriages, and lost a store to bankruptcy. He barely survived the trans-Atlantic voyage. He would not have recovered if it were not for a chance encounter with Benjamin Franklin in England and the letter of recommendation from Franklin that he carried. Upon arrival in America, fate placed a pen into his hand and the world changed dramatically because of it.

He began by writing many things of inconsequential nature. Every so often he would write an article that shook the foundation of people's faith and the society in which they lived. He had the audacity to write (100 years too early) on the evils of slavery or (nearly 150 years too early) in defense of women. However, due to his miraculous and fortunate connection with Franklin, he was able to call many a great man friend. Some of these men included Washington, and Sam and John Adams to name only a few.

These associations, coupled with his life experiences, molded him into the most influential man of his time. It was early 1776 when he immortalized himself. During a time when speaking words like "revolution" and "independence" sparked fear into everyone's hearts and treason was still looked down on, he had the courage to issue a pamphlet. This pamphlet was called "Common Sense" and we owe our freedom to it.

This book spread like wildfire. The initial printing of 1000 copies sold in days. After being cheated out of its profits by a greedy publisher, Paine switched publishers, lowered the price to something affordable, and published many, many more copies. This pamphlet could not stay on the shelves. It spread like fire throughout the American colonies. However, it didn't stop there. Copies made their way to "Quebec, France, Warsaw, London, Edinburgh, New Castle, Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dubronvik, and Moscow."

This humble man could have made a fortune on this work. Did he? No, not one bit. In fact, for the second printing, he donated the proceeds to Washington's Continental Army so they could have gloves. He said, "As my wish was to serve an oppressed people, and assist in a just and good cause, I conceived that the honor of it would be promoted by my declining to make even the usual profits of an author." Furthermore, he publicly repudiated his own copyright, allowing this book to be published by whosoever wanted, how they wanted. His devotion to the cause of American freedom is unbelievable. He believed in what he wrote so much that he risked his life, on threat of treason, to spread his ideas. His first publication only bore the name "Written by an Englishman." However, for the second round, it clearly stated "Thomas Paine."

What made this document so influential? Reading through it, one cannot help but be awed by its simple, flowing language and clear argument. He attacks the commonly held thoughts in such a clear and sublime way that one cannot help but let himself be persuaded by these inspired words. Particularly potent is the way he attacks the mother (England), child (the Colonies) relationship that England used to mask their atrocities. This book became the the standard that our great and noble forefathers could rally around in order to find the courage and strength to do what they did.

When we look at what the birth of this nation meant to the people here, what it meant to the modern world, and what it means today, one cannot help but stand in awe at what one man helped spark.

I am so grateful for the example Thomas Paine left us. I am grateful that God inspires just and holy men such as him to carry forth His works and purposes for our salvation. I love that we enjoy the freedoms because of Paine, and many others no less noble and courageous. If I could exhort the few who will read these words to do something, it would be to learn of our history. Learn of Thomas Paine, of George Washington, and of our Constitution. Be active citizens to continue preserving the great freedoms we have.

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again." Thomas Paine

The inspiration and thoughts for this post come from "Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of the Modern Nation." I highly recommend it.