A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

August 23, 2017 | 18 Comments » | Topics: Interesting, Answers

Why was the American Civil War fought?

If we rely on the words of the major players in that war, it’s clear it was about whether slavery should be restricted or extended. The North wanted it restricted to where it was, and the South wanted it extended coast-to-coast into the new territories and states entering the Union. When Lincoln, who favored restriction, was elected, most Southern states decided they should break off and form their own separate country that could protect slavery in those states and maybe even use military force to extend it into some new territories like Cuba or some easily-conquered Central American countries (an idea that was very popular in the South before the war).

Abraham Lincoln expressed this conflict in a letter to secessionist (and later Confederate VP) Alexander Stephens:

You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainly is the only substantial difference between us.

I’ve found no better reason than that for the conflict which became the Civil War, unless you count the ‘Cornerstone’ speech in which Alexander Stephens himself made the case that Southern secession was based on keeping black people enslaved in perpetuity:

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas [than racial equality]; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Just because most people today see slavery as immoral system doesn’t mean most pre-Civil War Americans felt that way. The wholesale rejection of slavery is itself a product of the Civil War and the 14th Amendment. Stephens’ 1861 speech makes very clear that he, like most Southern slaveholders, had exactly zero qualms about keeping people of African descent as property to be bought, sold and worked to death as desired. It made tons on money for people like him, so he thought it was awesome, but because so few people today would agree, neo-confederates and their apologists like to pretend that war was about something else.

It sounds so much nicer to frame that long, bloody conflict as “Pastoral Agrarians vs. Urbanized Industrialists,” but that’s simply wrong. Slavery was big business in pre-Civil War America—the biggest, according to some estimates. The fictional Tara plantation in Gone with the Wind was as much a profit-driven factory as any Northern textile mill, and its profits were much higher because it relied on forced labor from a captive population and their children.

A few decades after the Civil War, the “Lost Cause” apologists managed to rewrite that ugly history into a fairy tale that stressed crinolines and mint juleps while denying away the overseer’s whip, the children “sold down the river” and the ‘Massa’s’ habit of raping enslaved women to whom he took a fancy. It’s all bullshit.

– Jim Ryan




What is the difference between Bodybuilding and Powerlifting?


We’ve all seen crazy pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronnie Colman competing for Mr. Olympia — one of the highest level of bodybuilding competition — but how did they get up to that point? Bodybuilding is a round-the-clock commitment where athletes use cardio and strength exercises in tandem with an emphasis on bulking and cutting: putting on as much muscle mass as possible, and eliminating as much fat as possible from the body in order to get the muscle definition. The goal is to develop a perfect form which meets judges’ criteria.

Bodybuilders emphasize weight training using moderate to heavy weights with a higher number of repetitions that focus on major muscle groups. A common method that bodybuilders use is ‘rep to failure.’ This involves lifting weights until they physically cannot lift anymore. Some bodybuilders incorporate ‘heavy days’ into their training regimen, where they focus on one body part with fewer repetitions. Bodybuilders also incorporate cardio into their routines in order to reduce body fat to maintain muscle definition. In order to become a successful bodybuilder it helps to have amazing vascularity, definition and musculature.


Powerlifting is often not covered by mainstream media. It involves three lifts: squat, bench, and deadlift. In competition, the individual who lifts the most weight, in each of the three categories, wins.

Powerlifters have a very different training regime than body builders. Powerlifters focus on training specifically for those three events and building muscle that will assist in the attainment of lifting the heaviest possible weight. They train by lifting heavy weights with fewer repetitions because, in competition, only one rep is needed. The emphasis is on triples (three reps), doubles (two reps) and a single, all out rep. This promotes maximum strength rather than defined muscles.

A powerlifter’s diet can be less specific than that of a bodybuilder. Powerlifters eat to provide immense amounts of energy, rather than maintain muscle or build a certain physique. They eat high fat, high calorie and high protein foods in order with a much higher calorie intake than the bodybuilders. If you look at the body types between powerlifters and bodybuilders, they are quite different. Powerlifters are stockier and have much more fat on their bodies than the average person, and many can be classified as morbidly obese because of their high muscle and fat body composition.



What’s it like to get out of prison after 28 years

I went to prison in 1982 and was released Feb 2009. To say the world I stepped into was a shock, it was a total shock. I felt everyone could tell I was a convict. I could feel the stares, going into stores you see people watching you. In prison you develop a sense where you are always aware of what’s going on around you. Your gaurd is always up.

I noticed people would cut the line in front of me and not think nothing of it, people would talk shit and if I checked them somehow I became the bad guy.

Society has made it so hard to get a job, with all them background checks, can’t rent, fill out a app for a job, list your last 3 employers and why you left. So you get creative on your answers, I put down I worked for the state. Get pulled over, cops whole demeanor changes when he runs your name. Some people don’t like you just because you doing better then them, and it’s my fault your stupid.

You scare people for no reason, trust issues all around. There’s no way I can make others feel the way they feel it’s them. Everything can be cool then they find out you were in prison that long. Some ask questions, some shun you, some don’t change its no factor to them, but once word gets out your judged by people you don’t even know haven’t even meet them. You hear it through friends, some will even say something when they hear another talking shit about you.

All in all out here is way way better then in prison, I’ve been out now for 7 and a half years, I’ve seen stuff that would get you killed on the inside. Out here people snitch, call cops, and not think twice of what there doing. I still hate pigs and always will. For I see them as bad as convicts on shit they do. When a pig sees another pig violate another person’s rights, harass him, beat him and don’t do something to stop the offending pig to me he’s just as dirty. When the pigs got shot up and everyone spoke how bad that was, what came to my mind was shoe just went to the other foot. But society don’t get to worked up when a pig kills one of us.

Prison made me into the person I am. Product of my environment. I can function well and do out here,but that underlinine factor of prison will never go away no matter what I do. No credit history,own a house but can’t barrow a dollar, no medical history, no job history, learn to use smart phone and computer. So much is differant, it’s a system set up for my failure that what society has created . But I won’t fail and I won’t become one of them.

– John Wussler



What’s It Like To Be An Ugly Woman Living In A Superficial World

I am ugly. I am unattractive. I know that my skin is awful, my hair is greasy, and society simply does not permit women to weigh as much as I do.

But, mind you, this is not the same as having low self-esteem. Because when I look in the mirror, I hate my body, not myself. I simply shake my head and think, “This isn’t me. This mediocre sack of meat isn’t me. I’m just renting it out, driving it around. It’s a tool. It’s a vehicle. I use it to take myself places that I need to go, and that’s all there is to it.”

Ok fine, I’m not Zen enough to actually believe I can escape with that train of thought. The truth is, I am frustrated with the irreconcilable disconnect between my pride and my presence. The acne mask and the fat suit egregiously fail to conform with my mental mockups of my perfectly badass self. I suppose the only real solution then, besides undergoing extensive surgeries, is to upload my conscience to a supercomputer. 

Maybe the Singularity will happen, and everything will be great, but in the meantime, I much prefer the Internet to real life interactions because most of you haven’t got a clue as to what I look like, and if you don’t like me it’s because my ideas suck and not because you find my face unpleasant. The Internet allows me to temporarily abandon the limitations of my subpar physical avatar.

Even if people are especially curious about my appearance, I only allow them to make vague inferences based off a single profile picture, uniform across all my social media haunts, taken a very long time ago at a surprisingly flattering angle, in which I actually manage to trick them into thinking I look quite average. Well, I don’t. I’ve gained 50 pounds since then, and academic stress makes my acne flare up like nobody’s business.

Regardless, I decided a while back that everyone has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, and I would do well to focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. Even people who are bad at everything are less bad at some things than they are at others. After some introspection, I concluded that I was less bad at learning things than I was at looking pretty, so I would ultimately benefit far more from sharpening my skills and pursuing a technical career than from trying in vain to undo the effects of losing the genetic lottery.

As for the romantic side of things, I avoid unnecessary heartbreak by keeping myself from harboring silly delusions about reciprocated love in the first place. I have rationalized that it is okay for me to be ugly because 1) marriage is not the optimal arrangement for everyone and 2) the human race would likely carry on just fine without my genetic contribution.

I am irritated with the cliché that “everyone is beautiful” because surface friendliness and pretending to be PC don’t solve anything. It doesn’t help the young girl with confidence issues because even if you’re “nice” enough to tell her that she’s beautiful, are you nice enough to, like, actually date her? Words mean nothing without actions, yet it’s patently unfair to expect people not to be shallow because at the end of the day, beauty is beauty, attraction is attraction, and sexual desire is governed by deep-rooted evolutionary impulses that people don’t understand and can’t control.

It would be far more useful to promote the idea that people can contribute to the world in a variety of interesting and fulfilling ways besides making others salivate over their bodies. You can make original scientific breakthroughs! You can regale people with tales of heroic conquest! You can build products that make people’s lives easier! But I guess changing the world wouldn’t make for an effective beauty products campaign.

– CS Undergrad at MIT 


You Might Like