Wednesday, December 26, 2007

hah -- CNN Dancing Cadet

Ok, so I had no real intention of writing anything newsworthy today since I figured I'd be spended the entire day packing. Well, perhaps I should have know that as always, my brother and I would start packing about an hour or 2 before we need to be at the airport. Since I don't have to be there till almost 10 tonight, I've got a while still to get ready. Anyways, I needed to get my daily news fix since that's been somewhat absent lately (I watched Prime News with Erica Hill on Monday but that's been about it). I was going through the CNN video's trying to find an old one that I really liked and I found this one about the Dancing Cadet. I remember my Dad showing me this video on some website -not youtube- a few years back, and I had totally forgot about it till now. This video isn't the original, obviously and you have to deal with CNN's Jeanne Moos, but I still think it's entertaining.

And maybe I did still keep from writing anything newsworthy.

happy holidays!


I do know that I'm a day late for Christmas, but never the less I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. I hope that you had a great time doing whatever you did, got what you wanted, all in all had a good day. I'm not sure when the next time I'll be able to post will be however in the event that I miss it, Happy New Year too!
Oh yeah and don't blow your hands off with fireworks!

Monday, December 24, 2007

prison -- i'll be in good hands

Hawaii has been named one of the top 10 states that have a vegetarian/vegan friendly prison system. We landed a spot at number 7 with the vegetarian food listed primarily as tofu. To be honest though, I'm not that surprised since there is no shortage of Asian tofu loving people here. And while I have no intention to ever land myself in the big house, it is nice to know that there would be food that I would eat...unless I get shipped to a state that wasn't on the list. the other states that made it were Idaho, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Hampshire, Utah, Tennessee, Kansas, North Dakota.


Sadly, this morning I was listening to Public Radio International and heard a story about tigers in a zoo in Beijing. this past week a Siberian Tiger was found skinned and beheaded in a zoo in China. Shortly after that two tiger cubs were found dead in a fridge at the exact same zoo. One of the zookeepers said that in the past month they've only had about 20 visitors.
With all the Chinese medicine practiced, Tiger parts are in high demand. Well I guess they are in demand for reason other than medicinal purposes. I remember in Planet in Peril Dr. Sanjay Gupta found a secret hidden menu in a restaurant in China that had tiger penis listed on the menu. But when Dr. Gupta asked that waiter, he said something like they just wrote it but didn't really sell it....right. Some say that rather than trying to save all the tigers, which animal rights groups are trying to do, people should just sell the parts of the tigers that are already dead. I don't know if they've thought of this but what happens when all the tigers that are already dead are all sold off? Most likely people will just resort back to killing the tigers because according to an ancient myth tigers need to serve man. They were put on the earth to give themselves to us when we need them. Whatever. Perhaps it's the animals loving PETA side of me talking but by continuing to sell tiger parts the demand isn't going to go down. Maybe it'll stop poachers for a bit, but that's not likely.

We need to be more like our monkey brethren and befriend the tigers!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

accomplishment -- AP celebrity of the year: stephen colbert

The Associated Press has named Stephen Colbert the Celebrity of the Year by newspaper editors and broadcast producers. They said, "Colbert had the biggest impact on pop culture in 2007." And he may have.

This year, Colbert had a Ben and Jerry's ice cream named for him, Americone Dream. He also wrote a book I Am America: And So Can You which topped the bestseller lists for a while. He ran for president...sort of, and had the mascot of the Saginaw Spirit, and Ontario Hockey League team named after him. It was named "Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle." Also after breaking his wrist after a fall on The Colbert Report he created the "Wriststrong" bracelets.

Colbert beat out J.K. Rowling and Al Gore who received second and third place respectively. He told the Associated Press through e-mail that, "In receiving this award, I am pleased that I was chosen over two great spinners of fantasy — J.K. Rowling and Al Gore. It is truly an honor to be named the Associated Press' Celebrity of the Year. Best of all, this makes me the official front-runner for next year's Drug-Fueled Downward Spiral of the year. P.S. Look for my baby bump this spring!"


He sure has had an exciting year and what's even better is that on January 7, 2008 The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will be returning to the air with or without their writers! The two guys are pretty funny on their own but I wonder how long they'll be able to last if the strike goes on for much longer after they return to the air.

Friday, December 21, 2007

review -- national treasure: book of secrets

However cheesy everyone says the first National Treasure was, I really liked it. So, I had to see the second one. My brother and I had come to the conclusion that it probably wouldn't be that great since Disney sequels and trilogies never seem to be very wonderful. But to my pleasant surprise, National Treasure: Book of Secrets topped my expectations.



When you think about it, with all that went on in the first movie there can't be much to do in the second. But somehow they came up with things. One of the things that I really like about these movies are that they make history interesting. Okay, a lot of what they say isn't true like there's probably not a treasure map on the back of the Constitution or a city of gold under Mt. Rushmore, but there are a lot of factual things. For instance, today I learned that there is more than 1 Statue of Liberty. Of course there is the one on Liberty Island in New York that was given to the United States as a gift from the French, but there is also one on the river Seine in Paris, France and others.

While watching this movie there were quite a few scenes that looked similar to those in the first film, like the ending when Riley hops into his red Ferrari. Nicholas Cage was quite entertaining, hilarious at times too when Ben Gates and his now ex-girlfriend, Abigail get into a fake fight to make a scene. As before, Justin Bartha as Riley Poole was my favorite, with his "Johnny Raincloud" behaviors. What was funny too was that he wrote a book about their previous adventure and no one read it...he was sitting in Borders doing an autograph session, but no one wanted an autograph and no one knew who he was. How sad, I know who you are Riley!!! I'd buy your book if it were only real! And of course there needs to be one thing that Riley knows that no one else does, like the facts on daylight savings time in the first movie. Well enough about him since I could probably go on forever.

There are a few things in the movie that are left unclear, like I am Legend it may have been better if it were longer, at least that way everything would have been explained.

As expected the movie was quite predictable, but there were things along the way that turned out differently that what would be expected, which makes it all the more interesting.

All in all, if you were a fan of the first movie you should be a fan of this one too. I think it goes against the claim that my brother and I made about Disney movies.




Oh and while I was at the movies, watching 20 minutes worth of previews, Be Kind, Rewind seemed interesting and quite funny. It about guys who own a video store and Jack Black character decided to wear a magnetized suit of foil (why, I don't know) and accidentally erases all the VHS tapes, so they have to film their own new versions, which people seem to like even more than the originals.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

mascot -- donkey

Lately I've been watching a lot of Cash Cab since I've got nothing else to do during the days without school. Today while I was watching I learned something that I found quite interesting. Apparently the donkey was tagged as the Democratic party's mascot after President Andrew Jackson was called a "jackass."

Perhaps I should go figure out where the elephant came from. I'm thinking of something of something, but It's slightly mean so it's probably best it stays in my head.

Oh and while this is slightly interesting, more gross, The Shot on Tuesday's 360° was about a Santa who was groped by a lady who sat on his lap. The Santa seemed to be traumatized and didn't want to speak on camera. The lady was charged with sexual assault or something like that. Randi Kaye made a nice comment after that on how with Santa, you're supposed to ask for what you want and not just do it. Poor guy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

common -- separated at birth


Steve Flaig, separated from his mother at an early age, has been searching for his mother for 22 years. She says that when she gave birth to him she wasn't ready to be a mother, so she had to give him up. Flaig who works at Lowes recently met a woman who was a cashier there. They had a casual friendship. When Steve turned 22 he viewed his birth paperwork and what not. He searched for the last name of his mother and found there was someone working at Lowes with that last name. The cashier. He was afraid to tell her that he was actually her son, afraid that she'd reject him.

One day the district attorney's office called Christine Talladay, the mother, and she thought that something bad had happened to her son. All the phone call was really about was to tell her that this entire time she had been working alongside her son. Come to find out, the two had probably seen each other more often than just at work, they both attend the same church.
Apparently this is more than people think. I remember hearing a story like this before about a woman and a daughter than worked together and were best friends. I must say it's quite odd, but touching.
And in other news, Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant at 16. I am disappointed. I really thought that she was the normal one out of the siblings, apparently I was a tad wrong. She always seemed like a good kid, a fairly normal kid. I enjoyed watching her show Zoey 101, but I don't think I'll be able to look at it the same way anymore.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

review -- i am legend

I am having a link problem lately, but thank you for informing me that the correct link for the site about Dr. David Cornbleet is http://www.drcornbleet.com/. Now I hope that I've finally got this right.





Today I went to the movies and saw I am Legend. Thus, I figure that I might as well write about it for anyone that may be interested in seeing it. I think the only reason I originally wanted to see it was because Will Smith acted in it and I thought the title was interesting. I knew nothing of what it was about other that he was supposedly alone, but not. I learned that it is based on Richard Matheson's 1954 Sci-Fi novel.

When the movie starts you learn that a scientist has created a cure for cancer. This by the way is in 2009. As the movie progresses you learn that the cure has morphed into something that is contaminating millions of people. An island of New York is evacuated, well the clean people are evacuated. Will Smith's character, Robert Neville stays on the island as part of his work, but somehow gets trapped there with his dog Sam. Three years go by and the viewer learns that he is not as alone as he seems.

I don't think I'd recommend this movie for people who are easily startled, although those times are somewhat predictable. But all in all the movie wasn't entirely predictable. It seemed quite serious, but did have funny moments. Robert has made some friends with the mannequins in the video store, one of whom he seems to be attracted to.

Unfortunately I came out of the theater with a lot of questions. The movie was only 100 minutes long and if you cut out the credits it was barely and hour and a half. Perhaps if it was longer more of those questions would have been answered, like "do the 'others' feel pain, since they bash their heads into the glass numerous times but are afraid of the sun?"

All in all I thought it was pretty good, I think I'd give it a little more that the 3 stars it got. I don't think the graphics were all that good (there was something that I think was a lion because the male had a mane, but the female looked like some strange cat-like thing), but it was entertaining and kept me on the edge of my seat. It may be just me because I don't like scary movie, this movie wasn't scary but it was startling, but I'll probably be a bit hesitant to go into dark places for a bit, in fear that somethings going to try and kill me and give me some strange rabies like virus. But I did like that there was a quote from Bob Marley that I can't seem to find right now. He said it at a concert after being shot at a few days before. I has something to do with how the bad people never take a day off, so neither can he.

I think I'm going to go and watch a funny movie tonight, like Uncle Buck or something like that.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dirty Secrets About Hotel Drinking Glasses...and my rant about Senator Clinton

In a report done by a local Atlanta news station, they found that the cups in the rooms were not being cleaned properly, or for that matter at all. In one case the cups were sprayed with a liquid that said 'do not drink' on the bottle and in another, the secret cameras found that the glasses were just rinsed and still had lipstick stains on there. Here's the video to watch their full report. I must say, it is quite interesting.

On another note, I just need to voice my opinions on Senator Clinton and her bashing Senator Obama. Let me say first though that I have no problem with the former President Bill Clinton, just his wife. Okay, she made a big deal about the fact that in the third grade he wrote a paper about wanting to be president. Clintion claims that that is a bad thing because he's been wanting to be president his entire life and that's the only reason he's running. Okay, Ms. Clinton maybe you didn't know this but probably half of the people alive have wanted to be president at one point or another in their life. Perhaps they don't all write about it, but just because one of them actually did and has a chance at becoming the next president of the United States, that's somehow a bad thing? Maybe ti's just me but I think that's pretty stupid.

And onto my next little thing. I forget what his name was, but one of the people with relation to Clinton, due to her campaign, thought it wise to bring up the use of Obama's 'drug use' as a teen. Maybe they didn't, but many teens experiment with things like drugs, and Obama didn't stick with it. He's not off on street corners stoned or even selling. He said that he couldn't inhale the smoke or something like that. To be honest, I think it's a good thing that he has informed us all of that. It backs up the statements and the polls that say he is the most honest candidate out there. Hillary Clinton on the other hand was not one of the trusted candidates.

Oh, and along the lines of the drug thing, who was the presidential candidate that proposed an idea to make a hippie museum in New York? Senator Clinton. I've got nothing against hippies, in fact I share a lot of things with them, tree-hugging, vegetarian, peace loving. Anyways, what did hippies spend a lot of their time doing? Pot. Now in my opinion, teaching the nations youth about people who many were drug addicts doesn't seem like the brightest idea in the world. I would think that it would give more people the idea to try drugs than not having a hippie museum. Oh by the way, her argument for having it was that it would show a big generation that brought a lot of change. I'll agree with that, but still.

Okay, I'm good now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

torture -- waterboarding and some follow-up on the murder of Dr. Cornbleet

So now I am going to jump on the waterboarding discussion bandwagon, but not to share my views about it. I've got some facts and even a video to help you decide if waterboarding is torture.

Tonight on 360° it was quite a big topic and Anderson even talked to former Navy Seal and reporter Kaj Larsen, who was waterboarded. Back during World War II Japan used waterboarding as a means of interrogation, we along with many other countries called it torture. A snippet from Anderson's blog says this:

"On the wall of Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia there are pictures of how the Khmer Rouge used to torture prisoners. I've been to the museum a number of times, and it is a shocking place to go. One of the methods they used was waterboarding. Simulated drowning. It is surprising that the question of whether or not this is torture is one that has become a topic of debate on the campaign trail.

Years ago, when the Khmer Rouge was doing it, no one would have called it anything but torture. Now that the United States is doing it, apparently it's just a 'severe interrogation.' I would say, 'Funny how that happens,' but there is nothing funny about it. This President has repeatedly said, 'We don't torture.'"

However, Sen. John McCain seems to be one of the few who will say that it is indeed torture. In fact the government has always avoided the question and never acknowledged doing it or even whether it's torture or not. According to Jeffrey Toobin these types of means of interrogation will indeed make people talk but they will tell you things that could be true of false. But, without the use of torture it seems that people are more likely to get the truth.

Now onto Kaj Larsen, who had the brilliant idea to go waterboarding. He says that in order to induce drowing they stuff a rag in your mouth and close your nose. The rag prevents you from actually drowning because it absorbs most of the water so only a few drop go down your throat. Larsen said the feeling was like that of being "shackled to the bottom of a pool" and not being able to come up for air. Oh, and they keep your legs raised a little because that supposedly helps to keep you from actually drowning. However, when asked by Cooper if he thought waterboarding was a form of torture, he didn't directly answer it. But he did say "I was fearful for my life." In the case of Mr. Larsen it was all staged, he could say stop whenever he wanted, but knowing that didn't take the fear away. Here's a shortened video from current.com which is where he posted the video of his waterboarding. Just to let you know though, it's 10 minutes long, mostly of talking. And I know my video is bad quality. but it's showing what I wrote about above.


video


So what do you think, is it torture?



Now onto the follow-up stuff. first I must apologize first for spelling David wrong every time in my first post about Dr. David Cornbleet. And apparently my link didn't work, I now know why. Anyways Dr. Cornbleet was murdered by a man named Hans Peterson who then fled to a French Territory. France refuses to extradite him however and Dr. Cornbleet's family is still fighting for that. So if you want to learn more of voice your opinion on the topic you can go to http://www.drdavidcornbleet.com/. On that site you can even sign a petition, which I did as number 4170. And here's a picture again, it's the same one I posted last time, but I think it's cute and sad.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

sick -- dad assaults daughter

A Chicago man recently found out that he was the father of an 18-year-old girl from Wisconsin. While his daughter was sleeping he snuck into her room and assaulted her. She woke up and started screaming and crying. Her father eventually stopped and is not being charged with incest and sexual assault.

At first the man said that he didn't do anything, but upon learning that the prosecution had evidence he said that she had assaulted him while he was sleeping. Unfortunately for him another family member heard the daughters cries and witnessed the act.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

hero -- cnn heroes plus the zuiikin gals



Since this past Thursday I have had an idea on what to write about here. Unfortunately I haven't had the time to write very much. In any event, Thursday was the premiere of CNN Heroes. I hadn't really intended on watching it and I was In class for the first hour that it was on. When I finally got home, I started watching it only because Anderson Cooper was hosting, along with Christiane Amanpour.The people that were featured really are heroes in my mind for what they did and continue to do. But one stood out to me. It was the story of Wesley Autrey who rescued a man who was having a seizure and fell on the subway tracks.

Autrey and his two daughters were down at the subways on January 2, 2007 when film student, Cameron Hollopeter went into a seizure and fell onto the subway tracks. Autrey had time to think for a split second and said he thought, "what a better way to start the new year." He jumped down onto the tracks and tried to pull the man back up onto the platform, but he saw a train coming and he couldn't get Hollopeter up. Autrey then had he idea to push Hollopeter into the gutter, he lay on to of him and the subway train went over their heads. Autrey says of the train, "the thing just grazed my hat." Everyone started freaking out so Autrey yelled out for someone to watch his two daughters and that the two men were fine. In an interview later Autrey says, "I don't consider myself a hero, I just went to someone in need, someone who's in need of help." And at the Heroes Gala he said that his heroes were the women who watced his daughters. To watch the CNN interview, click here.

CNN Heroes is airing all weekend which makes me mad because Special Investigations Unit is supposed to be on and it's the Narco State one that I've been wanting to see for about a month now. Anyways, it's on all weekend so if you get a chance you should watch it.



And how since I loved that diarrhea video so very much here's more from the Zuiikin Gals who may have made it onto Anderson's Favorites like the Seaman Ship video. Apparently they cut this part out of the podcast and I can't get things from my TV onto the comp so I recorded it with my camera, so that why there's all the other stuff around the video, other stuff on the page I recorded it from. I don't think this is a good as the last video, but Anderson does the moves too at one point which makes it more entertaining. Enjoy!


video
The child in Anderson, oh how I love him. I must add thought that anyone doing the don't make fun of me dance needs to be made fun of. I will never look at these phrases the same way again.

Friday, December 7, 2007

stupid -- holiday safety reminder

I don't think that I need to define the word stupid.

In Conyers, CA the officers with the Conyers Police Department have thought of a new way to reduce holiday crime.


If the officers see that you have packages or merchandise visible in your car, they will place a yellow "ticket" on your window reminding you that there is a possibility that someone could steal that stuff. These tickets are seen as a reminder to hide your merchandise out of site.

all pictures courtesy of rockdale citizen

The police chief says,"Certainly our goal is to catch the thief; but if we can help create an environment which makes it more difficult for the thief to thrive, then that's a positive for our entire community."
They apparently do not realize that they are actually making thefts more likely to happen. Now, all potential thieves need to do is go thought the parking lot and look for the lovely yellow papers that you can now see to your left. So, thefts can get a lot more done in less time because they don't need to look into every car. Yellow is a quite noticeable color.
And this is all thanks to the Conyers Police Department!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

indecent exposure & a follow up

Another indecent exposure story, but this one has a funny side to it.

Garrett Lawson Lotane was charged with public indecency after exposing himself at a Target in the area surrounding the University of Georgia. He told police he committed "lewd acts because [he] felt a rush of adrenaline." The arresting officer wasn't sure if Lotane was really exposing himself because his shirt was long (or something) so when asked to see, Lotane lifted his shirt and his pants surely were unzipped. The comment about feeling a "rush of adrenaline" was recorded by Officer S. Wang.

Wow, and I just realized I have a friend named S. Wang...Sam.


Just to follow up on the story, Leeland Eisenberg, the man who took the hostages in Sen. Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire Campaign Office says that he wanted there to be a discussion in this country about mental illness. In an iterview with CNN National Correspondent, Jason Carroll, Eisenberg said that he let the hostages go because he couldn't bear to see the torment that was causing them. He later says, "I wanted to police to kill me...I was disappointed, I was stunned [that the police didn't shoot]."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

videos -- the zuiikin girls

I saw this last night on AC 360 and i couldn't stop laughing. Thus, I thought that I'd share it. To be honest, it almost makes me ashamed to be Japanese.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

fecal coliforms -- hold the ice

Mostly directed to the people of Chicago, none of which read this blog, but perhaps it's something that anyone going to Chicago or people anywhere eating out.

In a study by the Chicago Sun-Times, that tested the ice cubes from 49 different fast-food and casual-dining restaurants and hotel bars, found there were high levels of bacteria in more than one in five of samples. And sadly "By comparison, a water sample taken from a toilet in a men's room at the Sun-Times tested cleaner than the ice obtained at 21 of the restaurants and bars."

EPA drinking water standards say that there must be less than one colony of coliform bacteria per milliliter. But, there are no standards on ice.

Highlights:
-"Ice from 11 restaurants or bars had high levels of 'total coliform bacteria' -- more than 200 bacteria colonies per milliliter tested." The addresses of there restaurants were given in the article, but I see it somewhat pointless to write. Click on the link at the end if you're so inclined to know. But the restaurants are an Applebee's, a Chipotle Mexican Grill, a Starbucks, an Asagio Express, an Outback Steakhouse, a Burger King, a Caribou Coffee, a rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewwery, and the bars at the Drake Hotel, the Hyatt Regency Chicago, and the Sheraton Chigago.
-Majority of the ice from self-serve machines had low or no bacteria levels.
-"Twenty-eight of the 49 samples showed no bacteria at all."

Now, you may be thinking that you should skip the ice next time you go out, but that may not really be necessary. Fecal coliforms may not be that dangerous. Penn State University's Brian Swinstock says "They might just be like a flu-symptom, a little bit of nausea, a slight fever." In other words, something that you may just associate with a common cold. However, if you have a weak immune system or are very young/old, you may want to hold the ice.

The Chicago Health Department's Frances Guichard says the bigger problem here is that people aren't washing their hands and that's how the bacteria/poo is getting on the ice. And that if there is enough of it, it will make someone sick.

The restaurants and bar that had traceable levels of bacteria in their ice said they took immediate precautions even thought they aren't sure they agree with the data. (CST)

murder -- Dr. David Cornbleet

mur·der [ˈmər-dər] - n
the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought (m-w)

A doctor dead, and a confession from the murderer. So, why isn't this guy in jail and or is there an effort to get him there?

Hans Peterson had an acne problem years ago and went to dermatologist Dr. Davind Cornbleet. He was prescribed an acne medication that he later claimed after two doses made him impotent and psychotic. Seeing that most men take pride in their potency, Hans Peterson went back to Ilinios to give Dr. Davind Cornbleet a taste of his own medicine. He went up to Dr. Davind Cornbleet's office and ended up stabing him to death. But, he claims that's nothing since he had intended to cut off the guys hands and feet and use a blow torch to close the wounds.

Hans Peterson was born in the United States making him a U.S. citizen, but his mother was from France, so he qualified for dual citizenship. He applied and was granted that dual citizenship which he has now taken for granted.

After the murder Hans Peterson fled to a French territory where he then confessed to the murder of Dr. Davind Cornbleet. This was in October 2006. But even though he's confessed nothing has happened and the U.S. government doesn't seem to be doing anything. Actually the Government can't really do anything. Many want Hans Peterson extradited, but under a treaty, France refuses to do that to their own citizens.

It is possible for him to be tried in France but as CNN's Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin said in last Tuesday's Anderson Cooper 360° if he is tried in France the longest he'll be in prison is 20 years. In the United States however, Toobin says, "the least he would serve is 20 years and, of course, he could get up to the death penalty in Illinois." Unfortunately France rarely carries on cases like this that involve their own citizens commiting crimes in other countries.

If you want Hans Peterson extradited go to ExtraditeHansPeterson.com to send an e-mail to the State Department and demand to have Peterson returned. Senator Obama already did.

Monday, December 3, 2007

acronym -- news

Everynight KHON2's Joe Moore does his little "did you know" segment. A while ago he said that the word news is actually an acronym. It stands for information gathered from the North East West and South. That's pretty cool if I do say so myself. It's something that a news geek should know!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

indecent exposure -- fire chief

in·de·cent ex·po·sure [-sənt ik-ˈspō-zhər] - n

Revealing one's genitals under circumstances likely to offend others (nolo)

In Johnston City, NY Retired Assistant Fire Chief Kenneth Rowe decided to celebrate his retirement in an unthinkable way, by showing up at the station naked! All he wore was his fireman's hat and the other firefighters htought it fit to take pictures and send them to everyone they knew. Unfortunately one of the pictures got into the hands of the police and Rowe was arrested for indecent exposure. At least "he won't have to worry about losing his job...Rowe just retired after serving 20 years. " (eyewitness news)

I bet that's totally what you wanted to see!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

gun control -- FBI's NICBCS


Following the shooting at Virginia Tech, the United States has been trying to keep guns out of the hands of those mentally ill. As reported by the Justice Department, the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System for gun buyers allows mentally ill patients files to be uploaded and that list has more than doubled since the shooting. From "174,863 during the first half of the year to 393,957 from July to November."

By putting the information into the FBI's system it would prevent people from purchasing anytype of gun and from going to a different state to purchase a firearm. Unfortunatelly the system doesn't apply to guns sold at shows and by private sellers and about half of guns are sold that way. (cnn)






It's World AIDS Day is today, so if you haven't already, go find a red ribbon.


Friday, November 30, 2007

hostage -- Clinton campaign office

Today, the Hillary Clinton Campaign Office in Rochester, NH became a crime scene. A man walked into the office on 28 N. Main St. saying that he had a bomb strapped to his chest. He also claimed to have mental health problems and that it would cost thousands of dollars to help him.

Leeland Eisenberg, a 47-year-old from nearby Somersworth, NH took those at the Clinton Campaign Office hostage, but let out a woman and her baby. That women ended up contacting the police. The SWAT team arived and another hostage was let free.

After more than 5 hours, the last of the four hostages was let go before Eisenberg came out of the office with his hands in the air and gave himself up to police and he is now in custody.


In a later press conference, Sen. Clinon said "it was a tense day." She also said that Eisenberg "was someone in need of help and sought attention in absolutely the wrong way."

Along with his mental health issues, Eisenberg was said to have had problems with his wife and family. She had filled for divorce stated ireconsilable differences. She along with neighbors said that he had a problem with alcohol and drugs. One neighbors also said "it was only a matter of time."

The bomb that was supposedly strapped to his chest were actually flares.

New York Presbetarian Hospital's Dr. Jeffrey Leiberman stated 3 reasons that people take hostages:

  • loss of a job

  • bad luck that they don't know how to deal with

  • mental issues







On another note, daredevil Evel Knievel passed away today at the age of 69. Many grew up wanting to be like him, many who are a lot older than I am. However, I too would have loved to be like him if my parents had only been willing to buy me a bike. Oh well.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

sexy -- kristen's sexiest man alive

sex·y [‘sek-sē] - adj
generally attractive or interesting (m-w)

I've been working on this since Sunday and I finally get to post it since word and blogger have decided to cooperate at the same time.


The other week People magazine came out with their 'Sexiest Man Alive' and all the runner-ups. Now another year goes by where I don't agree with their findings. It really shouldn't bother me but these guys are only sexy in the eyes of those who work at People. That's right, nobody in the public gets to vote and maybe that contributes to the fact that the 'Sexiest Man Alive' maybe be hot, but not the hottest. Thus I have decided to devote this post to coming up with my own list. True it is no real accomplishment since practically everyone has no idea who I am, but still.



I know this comes as no surprise. He was one of the runner ups in People's 2005 list, and hasn't surfaced again till this year when he was pegged as one of the sexy men in the 40s category. I guess that's better than nothing, but here's he's number one. Yes, the top honor goes to none other than that anchor that I make sure to get home by 5 p.m. to watch, Anderson Cooper. Perhaps it's that gray hair, or those blue eyes, but I'm not the only one who feels this way. Tim Gunn says that Anderson Cooper is his sexiest man alive. Although Tim Gunn would also pick Mr. Cooper as his leading man if given the chance. But hey, I would too. Whatever the little reason for liking Anderson Cooper are Seth Meyers put it nicely in a Saturday Night Live Skit where he acted as the host of Anderson Cooper 360°.


"See the news reflected in the shimmering blue pools that are my eyes."
Nicely put.
And now onto the 13 runner ups. In no particular order, other than alphabetical here they are. (and yes I know it gets all weird later on and the words and pictures are close together, but no matter how many times i hit enter, it doesn't change)


One of the stars of one of the best comedy shows around, Zach Braff plays Dr. Dorian on Scrubs.














Jim Carrey. I can't even count how many movies he's been in and neither do I feel like doing that, but my favorite was probably Bruce Almighty...though I did like the look of Count Olaf in a Series of A Unfortunate Events.
















Now I don't know why I like a lot of middle aged men who have their own television shows that are either news or somewhat news related, but for some reason I am quite a big Stephen Colbert fan. And that's not just a fan of The Colbert Report, but Colbert himself. Lucky Jane Fonda who’s kissed him quite a few times.
















Now here I have to agree with People, I don't think he's the sexiest guy on the face of the earth, but Matt Damon is definitely up there. Now in the past I would have said he wasn't the best looking guy around (perhaps that's just me though), but upon all the Bourne movies, he really cemented his hotness.















And here again I agree ( I think there's only one more though). No matter who Johnny Depp acts as, he looks good. Well, maybe will the exception of Willy Wonka. I did indeed like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but he just looked a little too feminine. I think the best, Captain Jack Sparrow.















If anyone were to ask me what I spent this past Friday night doing, I would have to say watching the Man vs. Wild marathon on the Discovery Channel. Hosted by the man himself Bear Grylls, every episode is one that I love. And what’s even better, the fact he can be covered in mud and still looks great.










Jake Gyllenhaal, the guy with one of the hardest names to spell. He's the last person here that was also one of the runner ups on the People list. I remember seeing him on the Daily Show not long ago and his personality, so wonderful.




Another Discovery Channel guy to make my list. Matt Johnston was one of the two thieves turned television show hosts on the show It takes a Thief. Quite a fitting name. This ex-thief is now a school teacher, how cute.



Here, the son of Gene Simmons, Nick Simmons who was no noticeable resemblance to his father. And to be honest, I am quite glad about that.


Last seasons Project Runway winner, Jeffrey Sebelia owns Costa Nostra and has made some truly remarkable articles of clothing. In my eyes the best was the yellow plaid dress from the Couture De Jour episode.



Why on earth NBC canceled the Black Donnelly’s, I do not know. I really liked it, and I really like Jonathan Tucker who was one of the many main characters, Tommy Donnelly.


Long ago he Jess on Gilmore Girls and more recently Peter Petrelli on Heroes, Milo Ventimiglia A while ago he was in YM’s 20 hottest guys, back when he was on Gilmore Girls and he apparently isn’t the bay boy that he looks like.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

politics -- CNN/Youtube republican debate

I'm not really one to side with the Republicans, but I'm not sure that I side with the Democrats right about now either. This afternoon I watched the CNN/Youtube Republican Debate. It was mostly because Anderson Cooper was the moderator and who wouldn't want to see 3 hours of him.




Since the public sent in their own questions there were bound to be some good ones and the crew did a great job at picking them out. I'll admit that I didn't pay much attention throughout the debate at first because I was reading the newspaper and eating ice cream, but after all that I payed full attention. One question caught my eye.

Blogger's not cooperating with me so I can't upload the video but click here to watch it.

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Keith Kerr is openly gay. He was in the Army for 43 years and after retiring he came out. His question was professionalism of homosexuals in the military.

None of the candidates answered the question which annoys me a bit, but I know that happens a lot in debates. Congressman Hunter said that majority of people in the are of conservative values and views, so gays and lesbians go against go against their principles. And that's apparently why they shouldn't be allowed in the military.

I liked when Anderson asked Brig. Gen. Kerr if the candidates answered his question and he said no. I think he had a lot of good points to make, one being that 2 people are discharged everyday not because of misconduct but because they are gay. These are the "doctors, nurses, pilots, surgeons" that are let go just because of their life choices.

All the conservatives think there should be no gays in the military, or for that matter none at all, but you can't just weed them out. If they hide it no one would know and they could life the same life as someone who is straight.

Maybe I'm just open-minded, but I don't see the problem. No matter what your profession there are going to be some people who and homosexual and some that are not. And, no matter what your profession is there are going to be people who are professional and not. Your sexuality doesn't determine your professionalism and just because some conservatives in the military are against that sort of thing doesn't mean that gays and lesbians should be cut from service all together. Like I said, some are going to be unprofessional but many of them are going to be just like everyone else. If you're going to discharge people it should be for things like misconduct, not just because you disagree with their lifestyles.

On another note, abortion was bound to come up between these pro-life men. Yes, abortion is bad, but I think there are some circumstances where it is okay. Actually I came up with a whole plan about it.

If you're going out and sleeping with every guys you know, abortion shouldn't be allowed, but in the case of rape victims it should. To be sure that the girl is really a rape victim and not someone who is just abusing the option of having an abortion police reports would need to be made. Then you can have the abortion and more of the unreported sexual crimes would be reported. But if you wait till the abortion would be considered partial-birth or late-term then the option should not be given. I know there are a lot of flaws in my plan but at least I answered the question unlike many of the candidates, especially Gov. Romney who seemed to avoid answering just about every question.

If you want to watch the entire debate or the catchy little jingle about it, click on the picture at the top of the post.

safe -- toy recalls

safe ['sāf] - adj
free from harm or risk (m-w)

With all the recalls of products from China lately, many are steering towards U.S. made toys. Is that really safer though?

Majority of the toys in America are from China, so it'll prove to be a challenge this holiday season. An article by Jayne O'Donnel and Mindy Fetterman of USA Today think otherwise. The article is full of statistics which I'm picking a few and writing them below for you.


-80% of toys sold in the United States are imported from China.

-Most recalls are due to design problems and not manufacturing problems.

-In 2006, CPSC said that there were 40 recalls for toys made in the U.S.

-In the same study it was found that 70% of recalls were for toys made in China.

-From October 1, 2006 until this past week, recalls for toys made in China have jumped to 88%.


Toys made anywhere in the world are bound to have recalls at some point. Perhaps if the United States checked the toys that came into the country things would be different. But, the U.S. does nothing of the sort. Now, many are turning to toys that are made in America. If they are indeed safer, toys made here don't necessarily grab the attention of kids compared to toys that are made elsewhere. Most of the toys made here are simple like "blocks or puzzles." Most parents don't want to take a risk, so perhaps kids wont be as entertained this Christmas...?

Friday, November 23, 2007

suicide -- rat poison

su·i·cide [so’o i sid] - n
killing yourself: the act of deliberately killing yourself



The Shanghai Daily newspaper reported last Sunday that six people died after a dumpling soup accident. Chen Ruyan who worked at a recycling station in Hubei and also sold rat poison was preparing lunch on afternoon. The paper reported “Chen found the rice dough he was preparing for making rice dumplings was quite watery and he decided to add more rice flour.

Unfortunately, he mistook rat poison that had been placed together with other condiments as flour and mixed it into the dough.” Investigators said that Ruyan had put the rat poison in his kitchen upon coming home.

And all this while “China is in the middle of a nationwide campaign to improve food and product safety after a string of international scares that have tainted its export reputation,” as reported by Sky News.



Yes, I know that this isn’t really suicide since it as far as we know, it wasn't intentional. But, I couldn't think of any other real word to use since I know it's not murder. Regardless, I think we all need to either not keep the chemicals in the kitchen or put them away and make sure that we don't just leave them on the counter next to the food. I think this is a goodlife lesson.

Read labels, please.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

thankful -- happy thanksgiving!

thank·ful [ˈthaŋk-fəl] - adj
expressive of thanks (m-w)

Many people have to think hard of something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. However, Eva Betts doesn't have think to hard. Betts has been working at the Cosentinos Market in Brookside, MO for over a decade. An excellent worker, Manager Mark Lenz also describes her good nature. "When she's done working 40 to 50 hours here, she goes to the hospital and donates her time to children and the elderly."

An elderly man, Carl Hanzeilious had been coming to the grocery store for a while and Betts had always greeted him and would help him out. He lived alone and she wanted him to know that someone cared. "As the years went on, he became gradually disabled. I would help him shop for his groceries and just visit. And when he got sick, I'd go visit him at St. Luke's Hospital and cheer him up a little bit."

The two had grown close and Hanzeilious recently passed away. Little did Betts know, Hanzeilious had left her a $15,000 check for her hospitality. She recently received a letter from the bank and was shocked. But, for those who work with Betts, it is no surprise.

Hanzeilious is "a man she says she'll never forget." (kctv5)



Due to what everyone has to say about Ms. Betts, she in my mind deserves this without a doubt. I wish that we all knew someone like her or at least had something to be thankful for. Don't get me wrong, there's something that we all can be thankful for, but something that comes to mind quickly.

I guess I'll share what I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for all the wonderful people in my life that I can turn to with any mishaps, but that's probably no surprise. I'm also thankful for my family, no surprise there either. I think mostly I'm glad that I have the life I'm currently living, that I have the opportunity to attend college and to do most of the things that I really want to do. I know that sometimes I really hate my life, especially when I'm disappointed in myself, but that fact that I can be disappointed in myself is nice, in a sense. I'm thankful too for knowing what exactly I want to do with my life and being able to think about the things I do now and how they'll affect my future. Perhaps it's a little optimistic and it'll never allow me to become an existentialist, but I like knowing exactly where I want to be each year or my life, within reason. And thanks Brad, for being the one who seems to consistently read this.




And by the way,

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Monday, November 19, 2007

unlucky -- darren swanson

un·luck·y [un lúkee] - adj
having bad luck: not experiencing good luck



This is just sad. A report by 1010 Wins, was posted Saturday, November 17, 2007 about a guy and his misfortunes. Darren Swanson, a 21-year-old from Bridgeport, CT was shot in the face Friday by a group of strangers. Somehow he managed to drive himself to the Bridgeport Hospital Emergency Room, err rather drive himself into the Bridgeport Hospital Emergency Room. No one was injured but the windows were shattered and the door damaged. It was later reported by a police spokesman, that Swanson was in fair condition. But then, Swanson’s day gets even worse. In his wrecked car, the police found marijuana; thus he was charged with possession of marijuana.



We’ve all had bad days, but most times, if not all times, they aren’t as bad as Swanson’s day. Some people do have days worse than that, and my regards to them, but for the rest of us, we better just stop pitying ourselves because it really can be worse. Lately I’ve been telling myself that however sorry my life is, it really could be worse. I could be one of those 3,000 plus people in Bangladesh that have lost their life due to the cyclone. Or perhaps even worse, I could be one of the many that are still alive, but are stuck with the grief of having lost their home, their family, and everything that they had. I’ve never lost my family or been homeless or had to search for dead bodies. I’ve never been shot in the face or shot at all for that matter or been arrested. So I guess my life really isn’t that bad, it’s pretty darn good.
MORAL: It could be worse.


And I just have to add a little to the last post. Some blogger recently posted that Megan Meier ( the girl who committed suicide) “had it coming.” That is just disgusting, saying that an innocent girl deserves to be dead. That sick person even code named herself with my name. I am ashamed.




Sunday, November 18, 2007

cyber-bullying -- myspace suicide

cy·ber·bul·ly·ing [ˈsī-bər ˈbu̇-lē iŋ] - v
the use of e-mail, instant messaging, chat rooms, pagers, cell phones, or other forms of information technology to deliberately harass, threaten, or intimidate someone. (whatis.com)

How amazing it is that with all the talk of cyberbullying nowadays, it proves almost imposible to find the definition. If you look at any of the dictionaries, there is nothing. The pronunciation is pretty hard to come by too. In this age of technology where majority of teens and young adults have MySpace or Facebook, cyberbullying is something that everyone who engages in such activities is prone to.

It always seems that at first, you're set on the idea that you wont add anyone that you don't know, blah blah blah. But, within time you let your guard down and you add people that you have no relation to for one reason or another. I'll admit I did that, there's probably only a couple people on my friends list on MySpace that I actually don't know (other than the bands).

I think I'm going to try out something new. Rather than the normal write about whatever happens to pop in my head around the time a see fit to blog, I'm going to pick a news story or something of the sort that interests me. I still want to define the word at the top since for some reason that entertains me, but I'd like to try and report on a story and get in that habit. And hopefully since the news never stops, I'll always have something to write about.

Now onto todays installment on cyberbullying. This past Friday's Anderson Cooper 360° really caught my eye. I must say that I normally have a very hard time watching when Soledad O'Brien is the host, but I was really interested that day and the emotion that she added to the story made it all the better. Gary Tuchman did a peice which they titled "Deadly Cyberbullying - MySpace Suicide." Perhaps that is what pulled me in.





More than a year ago, thirteen-year-old Megan Meier's parents allowed her to make a MySpace page under their supervision. All seemed well, and she even made a friend, his name was "Josh Evans." The two hit it off and commented each other constantly, he often commented on how beautiful she was and how lucky he was to know someone like her. Within time, Megan's parents Ron and Tina Meier's parental instinct kicked in. They began to wonder about this fellow that their daughter spent all her time talking to. Tina Meier went to the cyber crimes department of the local police station to see if there was any way to find out if Josh was actually a real person. No such luck.

One day, all hell broke loose. Megan and Josh got in a huge fight. Ron Meier stated in an interview on 360 with Gary Tuchman that Josh had even said " the wold would be a better off place without you and have a shitty rest of your life." Upon that she went to her mom for consolidation. However, her mom was mad too, but at the language that Megan was using and that Megan didn't sign off when told to. Megan, who had suffered from depression since the third grade was infuriated and ran off to her room.

Soon, things seemed all too quiet. Mrs. Meier went up to check on their daughter when Mr. Meier heard a "bloodcurdling scream." His wife had found Megan hanging by a belt from her closet. Her parents cut the belt to get their daugher down and following that performed CPR. The next morning Megan Meier was pronounced dead.

Upon returning home from the hospital Ron Meier wanted to find out who this Josh fellow, who in a round about way killed their daughter, was. Josh Evan's MySpace page had been deleted. A month later, a neighbor told them who Josh Evans really was, and that "he" was even at Megan's funeral. The reality of it was, Josh Evans was just the creation of a woman that lived down the street. The woman made the profile to befriend Megan and try and find out information on a dispute between Megan and her own daughter. In a police report, the lady even acknowledged this. Tina and Ron Meier went to speak with the mother who "loaded the gun" for their daughter to kill herself. The response they were given, "give it a rest."

According to the County Prosecutor's Office (CPO), the County Sherriff's Office, and the FBI, there's nothing that can be done. Megan had struggled with depression and didn't have to kill herself. Recently the CPO told CNN that they would review the case.




When I first heard the story I thought that the woman should be charged with something, I don't know what though. She was the one who made Megan so depressed that she bumped herself off. She knew that the girl had a history of depression and the conversations with "Josh Evans" made her happy. It's sick that someone would do that and in the end just say "give it a rest." I'm pretty darn sure that if the situation was the other was around she wouldn't be giving it a rest. But now, I may have changed my mind on the outcome of this.

I guess simply this could be the case of person A making person B so depressed that they commit suicide. That happens quite often. There are many cases of people who break up with their significant other and can't or just wont try to get through life after that. I hate to use it as an example but Carter Cooper makes a good one and he's the first that comes to mind. In situations like this there is nothing that can be done. If A and B were engaged the courts could do something about it, before B commits suicide. In Business Law I remember learning that an engagement is essentially a leagally binding contract, as crazy as it sounds you can be sued for breaking it. That's probably the only time that the courts would get involved in those messy relationship cases.

As much as I'd like there to be justice for the Meier family, I don't see it happening anytime soon if ever. Their lawyers told them to be quite, but as you can tell, they're not. As Gary Tuchman said, "maybe [their] story could help the welfare of another child."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

volunteer -- humane society

vol·un·teer [vòllən teer] - n
somebody who works for nothing: somebody who works without being paid


I can’t even count the number of times that i've been introduced me to someone new that I’d never see again. She’d tell me to help the newcomer, show them how the place works, what we do ever Saturday morning. Quite often this happens at the Humane Society. When I started in October 2006, I was under the impression that there was some commitment involved in volunteering. Perhaps I was under that impression because the application form said that you can’t have more than three unexcused absences or you’re gone, well that’s not the words they used but that’s the drift that I got from it.

Regardless of what an application form says, if you’re going to join a team shouldn’t you put effort into it, shouldn’t you come every week and do what is asked? True, there is no money involved but when you fill out the “volunteer application form” isn’t that pretty obvious that there’s no money. Volunteering=no money. Well that is unless you volunteer for the Hawaii Office of Elections who will pay you (though it is under minimum wage so it’s supposedly not considered working). But does it really matter if there isn’t any real sort of incentive other than the fact that you feel good about yourself and that you’re helping someone out? Apparently.

On top of that, I feel you should put effort into what you do if you’re volunteering. You shouldn’t just have the attitude that you’re showing up and that’s good enough. How many times has it been that are seven volunteers and four rooms. Three of each clean one room and three people clean the fourth. Everyone working on their own room finishes before the three cleaning one room and when they find out that we finished they stop and expect us to finish. Uh, no. You have a third of the work that we have and you expect us to do it for you? I don’t think so. The way I see it, you should keep doing your work. If you’re just slow that’s fine but keep working and if we notice you need help or if you ask for help then we’ll help. We volunteers aren’t total jerks, well unless you get on our bad side like when you expect us to do your work. If you need help we can help you get it done faster. But take advantage of us and you’d better keep working because no one else is going to do it.


Am I just blowing this out of proportion? I guess that’s for you to decide. But please the world doesn’t revolve about you, and it doesn’t revolve around money either, accept that. I know that there are people that won’t do anything without compensation and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it but themselves. Sometimes I wish that I could just tell them, let them know that there is something good about doing something and not getting paid. It leaves you feeling like you did something good, that you made a difference in someone’s life. The person you are affecting may never know, but that’s fine. Helping out shouldn’t be about the credit that you receive back from it. It shouldn’t be about getting your name out. It should be about that warm fuzzy feeling that it leaves inside of you.

Oh yeah and volunteers, don’t spend your whole time talking on the phone rather than doing your work.

Monday, October 29, 2007

courage -- firefighters

cour·age [kúr ij] n -
quality of being brave: the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.

That is the definition that my computer gives me, but how is that possible? Everything in life has consequences and most people in their rational minds think about those consequences before taking action. And if you do that, wouldn’t you have some sort of uncourageous thought?

Perhaps courage is subjective. Maybe all the words in that thing we call the “dictionary” don’t really mean anything. Someone who I think is courageous, you may think is a wimp. And the same with someone you may think is courageous. Last week there was a lot of news on television about the fires in California, or at least on the only news station I watch. I’d like to say that all the fire fighters out there could be the definition of courage. But are they really? Okay, they aren’t completely overcome by fear because if they were, they would be somewhere else, at home or at the Qualcomm Stadium, but there must be at least one drop of fear somewhere in those muscular bodies of theirs. Okay, maybe they’re just super amazing and really have no fear of flames flying in every direction, but they must have been scared at one point in life or another. Maybe you’re not scared of bombs and grenades but you could be scared of bugs. Or maybe you’re not afraid of bugs but you’re afraid of the dark or afraid to talk to that handsome guy you see all too often. Does that mean you can be courageous sometimes and not at others?


I know people that have done things that some may think is courageous, but I know the truth. They only did those “courageous” things because it was the last possible chance. More like a do-it-because-you-may-regret-it-later kind of thing. It still fits the definition, but in cases like that is it courage or is it fear, fear of regret? I think the latter.

I would have also thought that reporters, correspondents on the scene could possibly be considered courageous. However, if firefighters who run to where everyone is running from aren’t the epitome of courage, than reporters definitely aren’t, right?

I think I‘m starting to finally see it, yes, courage is subjective. Not only in the sense that each individual has a different idea of the perfect definition, but in the varying circumstances. Doing something because you don’t want to regret it later isn’t courage, it’s fear. I guess it’s just overcoming one fear because you’re scared of something else. But, firefighting and all the branches of the military and everyone that tries to make a difference without selfish reasoning (even reporters), now that’s courage. People who ill risk their lives or the stability of their lives to help the lives of other, that sure is the “quality of being brave.”

I’d love to boycott the dictionary, and not end up with definitions that I find impossible to fit or too vague. Unfortunately, without the dictionary I wouldn’t be able to define words like dacryocystorhinostomy (surgery to correct tear blockage).