Archive for May 14th, 2010
I have always enjoyed watching Steven Wright perform his comedy. Here’s a sample.
As I watched the above performance, I wondered what Wright was like off stage. It turns out that there is a relatively recent interview of Wright also available on Youtube. He confirms that he tries to see the world like a child, but to express his ideas in adult words.
Time Magazine has published a fascinating 8-page history of the birth control pill. I learned many things that surprised me, including the fact that in 1957, 30 states still had laws against promoting birth control.
The 1965 U.S. Supreme Court case of Griswold v. Connecticut struck down a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception,” including providing contraception for married couples. In Griswold, Planned Parenthood’s Executive Director, a licensed physician and a professor at the Yale Medical School ran a medical clinic that “gave information, instruction, and medical advice to married persons as to the means of preventing conception. They examined the wife and prescribed the best contraceptive device or material for her use. Fees were usually charged, although some couples were serviced free.”
It’s incredible to think how much the world has changed since 1965 (the birth control pill first came to market in 1959). Here’s one of the opening paragraphs from the Time article, which is well worth reading in its entirety:
Its main inventor was a conservative Catholic who was looking for a treatment for infertility and instead found a guarantee of it. It was blamed for unleashing the sexual revolution among suddenly swinging singles, despite the fact that throughout the 1960s, women usually had to be married to get it. Its supporters hoped it would strengthen marriage by easing the strain of unwanted children; its critics still charge that the Pill gave rise to promiscuity, adultery and the breakdown of the family. In 1999 the Economist named it the most important scientific advance of the 20th century, but Gloria Steinem, one of the era’s most influential feminists, calls its impact “overrated.” One of the world’s largest studies of the Pill — 46,000 women followed for nearly 40 years — was released this March. It found that women who take the Pill are less likely to die prematurely from any cause, including cancer and heart disease, yet many women still question whether the health risks outweigh the benefits.