Weekend Thoughts - 5.7.16

   Image  from  Francis Chung , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image from Francis Chung, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. Although it is the safest it has been to be a U.S. police officer since alcohol prohibition, cops and firefighters have been pushing to make themselves a protected class under the federal hate crimes statute. Dubbed the "Blue Lives Matter" bill, cops are attempting to appeal to lawmakers emotionally to receive additional protections related to their occupations, rather than the set of currently-approved protected class guidelines. Right now, a hate crime is defined by Congress as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation." The proposed change would add the following: "...because of actual or perceived membership or service in, or employment with, an organization, or because of actual or perceived employment as a law enforcement officer or firefighter." Any perceived crime against police officers would be classified as an act of hate and add another five years to a person's sentence. Considering both the record-high numbers of civilians being murdered by cops and the record-low numbers of police officers being murdered by civilians, this initiative seems a bit unnecessary to say the least, and perhaps even entirely blind to the actual situation at hand.

2. Trees are pretty awesome. They contribute a lot of positive things to an ecosystem, are amazing to look at, and have a special superpower—an incessant appetite for human-made objects. Here is a collection of photos of trees growing to eat things attached or next to them.

3. Learning to navigate around a city can be difficult, but a recent article from the excellent blog Zen Habits gives some advice for learning how to create a mental map of any location. There are plenty of tips and tricks that will help you map both new and familiar locations! The most helpful advice that I picked up from the article was to continually be aware of which direction I am facing—something that I have not developed in the past. This article would be helpful for those planning to travel to lands far away or become more in tune with their current cities.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.