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COLUMN: Keeping up with technology, news

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By Shannon Brock

Keeping up with technology is growing more and more important by the day. Unfortunately, I’ve never been the best at staying on the cutting edge. Fortunately, my husband is.

One of the things he has introduced me to in the past couple months is Google Reader. Basically it’s a centralized place I can go to read news that I pick out by subscribing to RSS feeds. I don’t understand it all or how it works really, but I do enjoy getting news tailored to my interests.

In going through my new items for the past couple days, I came across a couple of articles that I think deserve some attention.

It’s no secret that I’m a feminist — pro equality, if you will. So when I saw an article from MSNBC.com with the title, “Saudi judge says it’s OK for men to beat wives,” I had to stop and ask, “What?”

Apparently the judge, who was speaking out of court and at a conference on domestic violence, said a man has the right to slap a woman for spending wastefully. If she spends too much money on her head-to-toe clothing and her husband slaps her in the face, “she deserves that punishment,” he is quoted as saying.

And he said it at a conference on domestic violence? I don’t think I even have to say how ridiculous that is.

Saudi Arabian women already aren’t allowed to vote and they have to ask a male guardian for permission before the can drive or travel. Now it’s OK for women to be slapped around for spending a few extra dollars?

My heart goes out to these women, and this makes me I’m even more thankful that I live in America.

Speaking of our great nation, it’s too bad we don’t exactly have a great economy right now. According to another MSNBC.com article, the economy is so bad that patients are refusing tests, overnight stays and other emergency treatment because they’re afraid they can’t pay for it.

I mention this because it’s something I’ve noticed among my friends and it’s certainly not a good thing.

Some friends who are lacking in the insurance department are overlooking illnesses or injuries that they would (and probably should) normally go see a doctor about.

Some people in my own extended family have had to make the decision of whether to buy food or their prescriptions because they’ve lost a job (and their insurance) and just can’t afford to get both.

I don’t know what the right solution is, but I hope one comes along soon.

A lot of my friends who are in those situations are female, and according to yet another article, that mean they’re more prone to worry about what they look like rather than their actual physical health.

The article, “Poll: Women value weight over physical health,” suggests that there is disconnect between body image and physical condition.

Some women in the poll, which was conducted by the Associated Press and iVillage, said they were dieting, but weren’t eating fruits and vegetables. Others considered themselves overweight when they really weren’t.

This article provided an interesting perspective for me. I kind of just thought people who dieted or “cut back” really wanted to do so to get healthier. But now that I think of it, most everyone I know diets with one goal: losing weight. It seems to me being healthy is the main goal.

The article suggests that women should look more to female athletes as role models than to supermodels, and that seems like incredible advice.

I happened to catch a Mother’s Day interview with WNBA star Lisa Leslie on Sportscenter a couple of times this weekend. I don’t know a whole lot about her, really. But she seemed like a wonderful role model. She’s beautiful, athletic and healthy.

Maybe if more youngsters were introduced to people like Leslie instead of TV stars like Nicole and Lindsay, they’d be more active, which would improve their health and boost their self-confidence.

I think it’s safe to say my husband had no idea he would lead me down this path by getting me interested in sports — or technology.

Follow Shannon Brock at Twitter.com/ANewsSBrock.