It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread… Emoticon: Autumn Sandeen, snarkily shifting her eyes right-to-left-to-right

Emoticon: Smiley drinking coffee while using computerImage: Bookworm Bob, the cartoon 'sockpuppet' of Autumn Sandeen's; Link: Pam's House Blend This & That tagSo, this is what my cartoon sockpuppet Bookworm Bob have been looking at since our last This & That post — Which was more than a month ago!

Los Angeles TimesGay marriage law appears to improve the health of gay men:

Gay marriage may have benefits that extend beyond social and economic factors. A new study finds that laws permitting same-sex marriage influence the health of gay and bisexual men.

The study, published online in the American Journal of Public Health, examined the health impact of same-sex marriage on gay and bisexual men in Massachusetts. Same-sex marriage was legalized in that state in 2003.

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health surveyed 1,211 patients of a large clinic that specializes in serving sexual minorities and reviewed billing records after the same-sex marriage law was adopted. Data were analyzed regarding visits for hypertension, depression and adjustment disorders, which are all linked to stress, said the lead author of the study, Mark L. Hatzenbuehler…

Federal Way Mirror’s Sex In The Suburbs column, entitled Can transgender people pray?:

…A friend of mine who navigates [trans experience] on a daily basis gets questions from people struggling with their gender identity. One question he got earlier this year was “Can trans people pray?”

How much work do we have to do in our culture when anyone — anyone! — wonders if they are even allowed to pray?

My friend put together a request for those who were willing to share a prayer. To read the responses, go here (thoughtsonblank.wordpress.com).

You may think you don’t need to know about this, or that it doesn’t affect you. As you look forward to the New Year, I challenge you to learn more about the people behind this issue — their stories, their pain, their triumphs.

Instead of standing in judgment or confusion, take a chance and walk with them.

Trans people can pray. Many are the among the most spiritual people I’ve ever met.

San Francisco Chronicle‘s Model arrested for trying to smuggle cocaine in breast, butt implants:

A 33-year-old woman was arrested by Italian police after she tried to smuggle more than five pounds of cocaine in her breast and buttock implants.

The woman, who was not identified, hoped to sneak by police with help from her plunging neckline and tight clothes. Instead, she attracted the attention of airport security, according to a Daily Mail story.

When she couldn’t explain her trip to South America, two female security officers searched her and found the fake implants, which had cocaine crystals molded into them, the newspaper reported…

Emoticon: Disbelief Eep!

San Diego Union Tribune‘s Watch ‘Da Vinci’ glow on moon at sunset:

In the early 1500s, Leonard Da Vinci drew an image of the moon with a “ghostly glow.” He believed that sunlight reflected off Earth’s oceans and hit oceans in the darkened area of a crescent moon, making that area visible.

As NASA has noted many times, Da Vinci was wrong. But he had the right idea. Sunlight does reflect off Earth and softly illuminates the dark areas of the moon, a phenomenon that is known as the “Da Vinci Glow” and “Earthshine.” But most of the sunlight reflects off Earth’s clouds, then hits the barren surface of the moon.

It’s a beautiful sight that you can enjoy today at sunset when the moon appears above the western horizon. Look for Venus off to the left

• Our Wiener Story Of The Day: Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal‘s Expensive weiners: Bar fined $500 for grilling hot dogs :

A St. Paul restaurant and bar has been fined $500 by the city for grilling hot dogs outside without a permit, the Pioneer Press reports.

…The hot dogs were grilled outside, but they were sold and eaten inside.

There was no word how much a hot dog grilling permit would have cost the bar.

As always, “The weenie tempts you!” …even the unintentionally expensive ones.

So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?

Emoticon: Dancing happy face characterAnd again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo!