Tag Archives: Gold

Caitlyn Jenner: Going For the Gold

Just a little over a year ago, Caitlyn Jenner made national headlines when she came out to the world.  Caitlyn made her debut on the cover of Vanity Fair on June 1st, kicking off a celebratory event on Pride month.  The news broke the internet with swarms of celebrities tweeting about her courageous act.  She became a true hero for the trans-gendered community and for all individuals who felt that they had no place in the world.

For this year’s publicity debut, Caitlyn Jenner will be on the front cover of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.  She will be posing with the gold metal that she won at the 1976 Olympic games.  Along with the cover, a special film will chronicle her journey to the Olympic decathlon titled, “Jenner: 40 years After Gold”.

Before making her big debut, she was formerly known as Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner.  Bruce competed in the 1976 Olympic games in August, taking home the gold medal for the decathlon.  He made the cover of Sports Illustrated shortly after claiming his victory.  About four decades after his glorious victory, he joined the Kardashian clan for E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashian.

Bruce officially made his transition public to the world in April 2015 during his interview with Diane Sawyer on 20/20.  On June 2015, she officially stepped out into the world as a woman for the first time.  Thousands of supporters praised Caitlyn since the Vanity Fair cover was released on social media.  Celebrities tweeted about her Caitlyn’s debut since breaking the news in June.

Kudos to Caitlyn Jenner for showcasing her true identity to the world!  She has become an inspiring figure to the trans-gendered community.  In the land of the free, we shouldn’t cower in fear about who we really are in life.  We’re all just confused adults who are looking for their place in the world, searching for our true identity.

Marriage has been legalized for all same-sex couples in the United States last year, but we still got a long way to go if we want to make the world a better place for everyone.  Love and compassion will help us grow further as human beings while hatred and bigotry only hinders our journey.  Here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar we believe everyone has a place in the world, regardless of their sexual orientation.  Straight, gay, bisexual, genderqueers, and trans-gendered people all have the fundamental right to live their lives as a human being.

We are all born as human beings, so why is it that we continue to segregate ourselves further?  Homosexuality exists in many species of the animal kingdom, not just within human beings.  Homophobia is just another dehumanizing concept that causes the ever-growing rift between man and nature.


Eureka! The Origins of California’s State Motto

Earlier in my post titled “California Dreamin”, I briefly discussed the psychology behind the dream that people chase after.  This ‘California Dream’ mentality started during the Gold Rush phenomenon in 1849 when pioneers traveled thousands of miles to California.  Some travelers went simply to search for the gold while other people wanted to start a new life or fame.  Whatever the motivation is, thousands of people still flock over to California to this day.

Now here’s something interesting: while on a hike with my friend, I was scrolling through state motto and nicknames on my phone.  We were discussing different state motto and whether or not they even made sense to us.  Some states had some interesting motto that reflected the overall culture, but California’s motto was the most interesting of all.  California’s state motto is “Eureka”, which is a Greek term for ‘I have found it’.

Found it?  What exactly was the ‘it’ that the state motto was referring to?  Given that California got its popularity from the Gold Rush, the motto is referring to finding the gold that people went crazy for.

Legend has it that the motto was shouted by Greek mathematician Archimedes after discovering the method of determining the purity of gold.  Archimedes was regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity.  Vitruvius, a Roman architect, provides a brief description to how Archimedes found the solution to the problem.

This story stems from the infamous story of Archimedes and the Golden Crown.  From what Vitruvius said, Archimedes went to the public baths one day while thinking about the golden crown.  He went into a tub of cool water to finish his session.  As he lowered himself into the water, the water inside the tub spilled out over the sides.  After continuing to lower himself into the bathtub a few times, he noticed that more water ran out over the sides of the tub.  It was then that Archimedes found the solution to Hiero’s problem with the golden crown.  Archimedes was so excited that he jumped out of the tub, running all the way home shouting, ‘Eureka, Eureka!’

And that right there is the origin of California’s motto.  Eureka derived from the Greek phrase Archimedes shouted when he found the solution for the golden crown.  What makes this origin so fascinating was how it ties to the ‘California Dreamin’ psychology that runs on everyone’s mind.  This philosophy of finding the gold, whether literal or metaphorical, has been on people’s minds for thousands of years.  California branded itself with that philosophy for their state motto, which could explain why so many young adults flock to the Golden State after they complete their college education.  People want to find the ‘gold’, the answer they have been searching for their whole lives.  To this day, California continues to serve as the quintessential area for discovering the ‘gold’ you are constantly searching for.

San Francisco’s Parental Leave Gold Rush

San Francisco is one of the most affluent and liberal cities in California.  Starting its roots during the gold rush era, the city is constantly flourishing with all of the action happening within Silicon Valley.  The city has always been very liberal when it comes to groundbreaking issues such as gay rights, feminism, legalization of medicinal cannabis, and other controversial ideas.  Starting this week, San Francisco tackled one of the most talked-about issues in the workforce: parental leave.


Since Tuesday, San Francisco became the first place in the United States to pass a law mandating six weeks of full-paid parental leave.  This initiative will apply to mothers, fathers, adoptive parents, and even same-sex couples.  Businesses with more than 20 employees must start paying the remaining 45% of their employee’s wages during their parental leave.  Any company with 35 or more employees must comply with the law by July 1st 2017.  Parents can expect this law to take full effect starting in January 2017.


The law will update California’s current statewide policy of requiring six weeks of parental leave at 55% of pay, which is currently covered by the state disability fund.  One week earlier, New York passed a law requiring a similar measure of 12 weeks of partially paid parental leave at 50% of pay.  New York plans to roll out the idea starting January 2018.  Rhode Island, New Jersey, and California are the only 3 states that require partially paid family leave in the country.

Before this milestone, many technological companies stepped up their own parental leave policies.  Companies such as Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Google announced their own parental leave policy for their employees.  In fact, Twitter announced their offer on 20 weeks of fully paid parental leave for any newborn.  Their policy will take effect starting on May 1st.


Full-time paid parental leave isn’t the first business policy where San Francisco became ahead of the curve.  Due to the rising cost of living, San Francisco raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2014.  The city also initiated the first paid sick leave policy for businesses back in 2006.

This PR miracle stems from a widespread complaint from parents across the country.  The Unites States is the only industrialized nation without any paid parental leave policy.  Our country currently lags on one of the most important issues for all parents in the workforce.  While individual states are starting to implement their own policies, other developed countries already have generous paid parental leave policies in place.  For example, Finland has one of the most generous newborn policies.  Not only do parents receive full pay while nursing their children, but the Finnish government provides a ‘new baby package’ for everyone.  Each package includes a bed, sheets, blankets, sleeping bag, hats, clothing, and various accessories necessary for keeping the baby healthy.


It’s no surprise that a city like San Francisco became the forefront of a widespread issue for new parents.  San Francisco is the land of progressive dreams that happen each year.  Harvey Milk was the first openly gay politician to hold a seat as city supervisor in 1977.  Milk is just one of many icons that shape what San Francisco is all about.  We may be lagging behind on such an essential issue for parents, but we are making changes now.  It takes one place to make a huge difference that will rock the nation.