Spotted Lanternfly

The Spotted Lanternfly is a relative newcomer to North America.  It is native to Southeast Asia and when there it is an unassuming and stable part of the local ecosystem.  However, in North America, it has the potential for being a significant pest species.  It mostly prefers to host on Tree-of-Heaven which is itself a significant invasive species problem.  However, the Spotted Lanternfly will happily expand to other species.

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Star Wars: A Fandom Divided Against Itself

There is a saying: “No one hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans.”  I have found that sentiment to be unarguably correct but I have spoken to many people who find themselves confused by this.  Detractors exist in all fandoms but I have yet to see a fandom as passionately divided as Star Wars can get.  I believe the answer is buried in the core of what made Star Wars work in the first place.

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Why Minimum Wage?

When I first saw the idea of a $15/hour minimum wage suggested, I was skeptical.  My skepticism came from not agreeing with the number since I had seen low cost of living areas where it seemed like less than that was far more than what was needed to support oneself.  My counter suggestion at the time was something more like $10/hour since the math I had done for my own finances said that was my own break-even point if I stayed living in the area near my college post-graduation.  I was expecting to be in the main body of the argument against $15/hour and that discussion would be a back and forth about what was the ideal number to increase the minimum wage to.

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Should Election Day be a National Holiday?

The idea of making elections more accessible is a widely agreed-upon stance by more liberal Americans, even ones who are mostly moderate.  The basic idea is that people have a right to make their voices heard and there should be fewer barriers between the people and the polls.  Where that united stance breaks down is in discussions of how to make that happen.  In particular, a major push by some people is to make Election Day a National Holiday.  This is a measure that I do not agree with.

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A Tale of Two Capitalisms

Capitalism is a loaded word.  For good or bad, it exists at the core of modern economic theory and any discussion about economic policy cannot avoid it.  Opinions on capitalism range from it being the greatest economic system ever developed to it being the greatest evil faced in our times.  The problem is, the more I have looked at the issue the less sure I am that everyone means the same thing when they say “Capitalism”.

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A Defense of the Use of Atomic Bombs on Japan

On August 6th, 1945, the first atomic weapon to be used in a war was detonated over Hiroshima with a blast estimated to be the equivalent of 12,500 tons of TNT (Frank,264). On August 9th, 1945, the last atomic weapon to be used in a war was detonated over Nagasaki (Frank, 283) with a blast estimated to be equivalent of 22,000 tons of TNT (Frank, 285). Somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people died from the combination of both blasts and the radiation poisoning that they caused (Frank, 287). The surrender of Japan was formalized on September 2nd, 1945 (Frank, 330). To this day there is a strong debate as to whether or not the use of the atomic bombs was necessary. This paper takes the firm stance that the authorities behind the decision to use atomic weapons fulfilled the responsibilities entrusted to them to the best of their abilities with the information available.

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Selecting The Subject of a Photo

Photography is a more complicated art than some people think. While one style of photography is to pose people or things for a photo, I am more familiar with the art of capturing things as they naturally appear.  Even this has more to it than simply getting a good camera and pointing it at anything interesting.  There is a lot to be said about how to manage camera settings, but for now, I’d like to talk about how to select what is interesting to take a photo of to begin with.

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