Wednesday, February 25, 2009

seven states may be abolishing the death penalty 
maybe they are considering just because of the money, but i am glad they are considering it. i get so tired of the same argument that 'we need the death penalty to deter murder' or 'if we abolish the death penalty, homicides will increase.'

both are false. and there is plenty of evidence for it. i would have much more respect for death penalty proponents if they would just admit they want to punish the offender.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

look, they are hoping to build collective efficacy 
or social capital or organization or cohesion*. in Park Place, the neighboring Norfolk area that leaves much to be desired, a new plan is in the works.

Over the past 35 years, the city and housing authority have spent $31.8 million in Park Place tearing down blighted houses, building new homes, creating parks and repairing roads and sidewalks.
In spite of that, residents say crime - especially drug and gang activity - still abounds. The neighborhood contains large areas of blight, including many neglected rental properties owned by absentee landlords.

...City Manager Regina V.K. Williams wants to try something different. This afternoon, she will ask the City Council to approve a "community building engagement process". She said she hopes the program will result in neighbors getting to know each other and developing relationships with city officials...

* there is a some comical disagreement in the department about which is which and what is what.


politics and the cold 
the other day when it was 58 degrees out, in the midst of how very cold it has been lately, i rejoiced about the wonderful weather. i know it doesn't make sense, but when it is 58 inside my house, i am freezing! my fingers hurt when typing when it is this cold.

what am i typing? thoughts about the political system and crime. for instance, i just typed this passage from an article [i love this passage, i have paraphrased it often]:

“A number of authors have noted that the Republican party began in 1964 to campaign on a law-and-order platform in presidential elections…the rise of this rhetoric is tied to the history of race and party politics in this country…the move of the Democratic Party in abandoning Southern whites in favor of black interests…gave rise to an important bloc of independent voters becoming an important swing vote. Emphasizing the crime problem became a key avenue through which the Republican presidential candidates could appeal to working and lower middle-class whites… The Reagan and Bush administrations of the 1980s shifted the terms of political discourse further toward excluding marginal populations, which led to viewing minorities and the poor as threats to security rather than social problems” (Stucky, Heimer, and Lang 2005:213).


Monday, February 23, 2009

the news 
perhaps it is just me, but i find the availability of news via video annoying. i peruse several news sites and in doing so, i want text. so many news sites now offer their top stories via video, and perhaps this is great for some. personally, i don't want to have to watch commercials to read the news, in fact, i don't want to watch at all. if so, i would turn on the tv. i simply want to read a news story.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

my goal for tonight is to get my taxes done 
"Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today." -- Herman Wouk


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

years ago, i selected a textbook for my class that was not well-received. the book i chose was simple, there were few pictures and few colors involved in the book. it wasn't flashy like most texts are. i chose the book at the time because of price, comparable books were 3-4 times the cost.

i realize that not all teachers take into account the cost. i did and it turns out it wasn't quite the thing to do. since then, i have stuck with the more traditional, flashy, and expensive books. (i do, however, point out various alternate retailers where the book can be bought and pick the least-to-date edition so that used books can be bought.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

oh this is fitting sometimes 
"If all the world's a stage, I want to operate the trap door." -- Paul Beatty


Thursday, February 12, 2009

i have given my first online test today. in general, students love it. so far so good.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

eagles at Norfolk Botanical Garden 
i love the eagle cam. you can watch the eagles in the nest at any time. she has just laid her first egg for the season.

we've all heard about Chris Brown allegedly attacking Rihanna on sunday night and therefore not making it to the grammy's. but something about it bothers me: i thought violence victims' names were kept confidential? i know it would have been easy to figure out, but i haven't seen even an ounce of someone trying to hide this information.

a va beach father has killed his five year old son . he was immediately arrested and interviewed. the man told reporters he had to kill his son to save his soul. decapitate him to save him from the anti-christ. the man is known to be schizophrenic, if that means anything. this is local news now, but i wouldn't be surprised if it goes national.

california is going under. financially. and now they have to release prison inmates due to problems with overcrowding. it's a great solution to two problems, really. release the nonviolent drug offenders - you know the guys whose crimes did not have a victim.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

best of craigslist 
i've been poking around craigslist, looking for a new place to live. get this, half of americans want to move. turns out those who live in the city want out, more women dislike big cities, and more people would rather live in a place with mcdonald's than starbucks.
i just want to move down the street.

anyway, on the best of craigslist. from january, and it's local: Wanted: Roadkill.
So, here's my offer. If you happen to hit a deer (or larger animal, although I don't think we have many of those in southern Virginia), you can bring the animal to me, and I'll carve it up for you, and split the meat 50/50.

Just a few rules:

It has to be a deer or bigger... It must be less than a day old... You have to call the police after your accident... You bring the animal to me (I'm in Suffolk), and I do the rest, and call you when its done. If you live in Suffolk, or hit the deer in Suffolk, I could come to you, but I'm not driving to VA Beach at 10 pm at night... I'll cut up the animal and give half the meat to you in sealed bags. I'll even label it, so you'll know what cuts you're getting. You eat it and enjoy!
yes, i cut some stuff out. times must be tough.

also, don't miss the person who is too lazy to go to the store for OJ and the one who needs a cat cause he has rats.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

PPT trick 
i just discovered a neat trick in powerpoint. while in slideshow, if you click on ctrl-P, you get a 'pen' to draw on the screen.

now i just need a reason to use this.

Friday, February 06, 2009

economic downturn: here's pics of unsold cars around the world. car manufacturers are running out of storage space.


man, i was really hoping for post-it note 
What Office Supply Are You?: You Are a Red Pen

You have an eagle eye for detail, and this often means you end up finding mistakes in people's work. You may seem quick to criticize or correct, but you think accuracy and truth is important.

You like to be involved in every project. You feel like you put the polishing touch on things. You would make a good editor, detective, or accountant. When facts matter, you're the person to call on.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

itchy itchy 
for some reason, the last two days i have found myself with hives. everywhere. i am so itchy. why is there always one more thing after another?

Monday, February 02, 2009

congrats to the steelers 
that game was exciting! i was, literally, on the edge of my seat. and kudos to springsteen.

as far as the commercials go, there were three that i thought were very good, and interestingly, they came at the start of the show. i liked the Pepsi old and new, the Bridgestone with mr. and mrs. potato head (even though it was sexist), and the Budweiser with the horse that went fetch.

you made it down here?

what? you want a reward?