Monday, June 16, 2008

New Urbanism- A Solution

In my last post, I was ranting about the high cost of gas. After taking a class in Urban and Regional Planning, I became familiar with the concept of New Urbanism. According to, New Urbanism encorporates ten principles:
  1. Walkability
  2. Connectivity
  3. Mixed Use & Diversity
  4. Mixed Housing
  5. Quality Architecture & Urban Design
  6. Traditional Neighborhood Structure
  7. Increased Density
  8. Smart Transportation
  9. Sustainability
  10. Quality of Life

There's a reason "Walkability" is the first on the list. With gas prices at an all-time high, the ability to walk from home to work to the grocery store to a bar to a museum and back home prevents the need for a car. Quality housing near your place of work prevents the need for a car. This kind of new construction and development comes at a great time for our generation. As our parents continue to wait in bumper to bumper traffic while commuting to work, we will be meeting our friends for drinks and lounging in our hip lofts.

Cool is no longer reserved for New York. You can find it in every big city across the country.

Till Death Do We Part...Literally

Link: -----------------------

When one thinks of a serial murderer, the term has literally become synonymous with Hannibal Lecter, Ed Gein, and other characters based in reality that become the monsters portrayed in scary/horror movies. You don't quite imagine that a woman old enough to be your grandmother is a cold blooded killer or a serial murderer for that matter. Scholars have debated as to what constitutes a serial murderer, but most conclude that the killer must murder at least 3-4 victims with a cooling off period between each murder. So by that definition alone, Betty Neumar is a serial murderer, a black widow in particular. She is someone who killed 5 men meticulously moving from state to state after each death and targeting military men to marry. She eluded police for more than 20 years (her last victim known to date-- deceased spouse, Harold Gentry in 1986).

This case in particular is sad indeed that those running the investigation in the past seemed to have been lax in solving the crime by not investigating the wife. In most murder investigations usually the culprit is someone who is close to you. As taught in criminal justice and criminal profiling classes, to commit murder the culprit usually feels some kind of deep emotion-- such as anger or hatred. Even those that are not close to the victim sometimes project their hatred on another who may look similar, etc. But I digress...

What stood out about the case is that it lacked no finesse. It honestly made no sense why she "got away" for so long. She used the same modus operandi, even if she did not use the same methods of killing her victims. Reporters suggest that Betty Neumar (AKA "Killer Granny" as I've dubbed her) got away for so long because she moved from state to state. And unfortunately, the U.S. government runs on a decentralized system which means that each state can run things differently and the federal government is not controlling the state's policing system. In a way this is a good thing because it lessens the federal government's power which is what America's forefathers were after when they established their system of government.

However, there are loopholes. Moving from state to state lessens the chances of getting apprehended for crimes committed which is why this Killer Granny ended up being captured now instead of 20 years ago. Luckily, police officers are coming up with new systems to strengthen the decentralized system and tighten the loopholes that were created. More states are using computers and similar databases. This way officers can run license tags, driver's licenses and see if there are any warrants in different states for those they have reasonable suspicion of.

If present technology was available in the past maybe Mrs. Neumar would have been captured before husband #4 would have succumbed to death at the hands of his seemingly loving wife. It's unfortunate that some people take marriage so seriously. Divorces might be costly but at least prison won't be an option to weigh when making that ultimate decision.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


The gas station across the street from my apartment is at $3.99 for regular unleaded. It's as if staying at $3.99 will trick me into thinking that I'm not paying $4.00 gallon. Here's the question: How much longer will I continue to pay $40.00 everytime I fill up my tiny car? Perhaps as long as the rest of America continues to pay the same.

I suppose I'm an environmentalist, trying to recycle as often as possible, doing errands on the same drive, etc. But honestly, this is becoming an economic issue. I have to work six hours to pay for one tank of gas on my minimum wage job. Is it even worth it to go to work for a half day shift? It's not enough to complain. It's not enough to curb my driving habits. It's time to take action. But how? When everyone works on a automobile, fast-paced schedule? If class ends at 9, I'm expected to be at work by 9:30. Can I walk the distance in that short period of time? How do I take the bus home when it stops running at 5?

I leave you with this comic. At least we can look at this as the next great American adventure:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

If your name ends in -acy/i, don't marry a Peterson

America's Most Wanted - Missing Persons - Stacy Peterson

Yeah, I don't really have much to say in the way of controversy, I just found this whole case ironic. We have a Peterson, we have a very similar named wife who goes missing...this is some sort of Peterson-centric conspiracy. What are the odds that there'd be 2 missing wife cases involving Petersons and women with similar sounding names (Laci and Stacy)? Stacy wasn't pregnant, but her story gets more interesting with the fact that Drew's third wife apparently died of accidental drowning in the bathtub. This was after their divorce and they were settling things up...and e-mails of Stacy reveal a 'troubled marriage'. Drew doesn't like it when girls take their ball and go home?

I know I'm not the first to make this connection, and I won't be the last. Stay away from the Peterson men, ladies.

And how about that Natalee Holloway case?
(look at this, she has a frickin Wiki! So do Laci Peterson, Scott Peterson, and Drew Peterson...)

I guess it's been too long since we had a missing persons case, they had to drag an old one up. Then of course, the Stacy case is a remake of an old one; change a few names, lose the fetus but add a 3rd dead wife, and bam, new controversy!

Sometimes, I wonder if we really are God's reality show?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

And for my first post...


Coffee-flavored condoms in Ethiopia! God bless FARK, forum of all that's not really newsworthy but ends up being so due to popular demand. I love how my first official post concerns condoms, AIDS, infidelity, and the church all in one fell swoop. And really, most of my commentary will come from articles gathered from FARK, because I'm just not as current as the official blog mistress.

So long article short, we've got a charity who produced coffee-flavored condoms, sells them on the cheap, all in hopes of stopping the spread of AIDS. You see, Ethiopia is apparently where coffee originated (way to go!), and they're coffee nuts there, so it would be like making beer-flavored condoms for America, or tea-flavored condoms for England, or hey, while I'm being biased, whiskey-flavored condoms for Ireland?

So we sell condoms for cheap, with a pleasing flavor, to stop the spread of a serious health issue, and keep people from unwanted pregnancies and other STDs. Why would we have an issue here? Everyone wins!

Eh, of course there's a spokesperson quoted from a church that promotes sex only after marriage that doesn't like the idea of the condoms. They're saying that it's besmirching the good name of their coffee (and I must say, macchiato is DELICIOUS, try it with caramel!). I say more power to them, people aren't going to stop having sex outside of marriage EVER. Better to give them creative, affordable options to help prevent the issues that this sex can bring about, rather than take away said options.

I do have to highlight one passage that got me:
"I hate coffee-flavoured condoms," said Tadesse Teferi, 37, a mechanic. "But I use ordinary condoms when I have sex with ladies other than my wife."

Now, not only is this guy playing the field, but I would assume he's also batting for the other team. Why would HE care what flavor the condom is? HE'S not putting it in his mouth.

...or IS he?

I'll leave you to ponder that, and also whether Mrs. Teferi reads the newspaper.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

When children no longer feel safe


This makes me sad for these children that they had no one to go to, no one to comfort them in their time of need, and the people they chose to go to for support took too long to do something about it. But there are some issues being raised that I feel in all honesty are fair to consider. What if the children coming forward now ARE lying? It's natural for one to think that children wouldn't lie about such a thing, but does anyone remember the McMartin Trial? Where people were accused of molesting children at their family run preschool for everyone to find out that the children WERE lying and being pressured to by the prosecution and the child psychologist they were sent to see and sometimes their parents. The stories got wilder with accusations of secret tunnels and satanic rituals. The end result? The preschool was leveled, the family members good name was tarnished, the prosecutor was never reprimanded for evading the protocol for discovery disclosure.

Dumbledore out of the closet

Here's the one that I read and they're pretty much the same thing...
I read this on Yahoo! News... I just think it's kind of odd that she would just randomly say something like that when the article didn't say anything about a person in the audience asking and I fail to see the relevancy to it all and how it adds to the series as a whole. The only reference I see to it is that a director in the 6th movie almost put something in about Dumbledore's lost love and was going to say it was a woman, and that's when she corrected him about Dumbledore's sexual orientation. What's the big deal about being gay? You either are or you aren't. It's ridiculous that the way someone is born made "headline news"-- especially since the person is question is a FICTIONAL character [insert hand gestures]. I think it's sad to see that this made news on CNN when we have more pressing matters in the world. If I wanted some gossip fodder I would watch E! not CNN. I watch that show to know what's going on in the world.

Edit: Okay this is just getting fucking ridiculous.

I for one, fail to see how Dumbledore being gay will help tolerance. The books are catered to children. Children learn to hate differences as they get older and from their environment. And yes, adults read the books too. I love the series as I like reading most things fantasy/magical. A book is not going to make someone go-- "Oh that character is so awesome, I refuse to hate gay people because of it." That's idiotic to think that.

I think it is disrespectful to the GLBT community for people to think that a FICTIONAL character will help make strides in making people become more socially tolerant, especially a fictional character that is in a fantasy/magical story about a kid with a scar on his freakin' forehead trying to avenge his parents and save the day. If you're going to think that a fictional character will help social tolerance then why a Harry Potter character? Why not become more socially tolerant because of movies like "Boys Don't Cry", "A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story", or I don't know... "The Matthew Sheppard Story"? Those stories that have been depicted in film are based on ACTUAL stories and teach a lesson that hating someone for something they can't help is just plain ol' stupid and causes irrevocable damage. In my opinion, this just cheapens the Gay Civil Rights Movement by saying that a fictional character has more impact in the world than the people who were apart of the Stonewall Rebellion.

A controversial issue

Edit: This is the reason why I posted my thoughts on this issue.
Link to article:
I love gay people. Some of them are my best friends... But is it so wrong of me to say that I'm against gay marriage in some respect? Some of you may think that, "oh shit... She's a homophobe." FAR FROM IT. I've been apart of NCCJ, support GBLSU. I believe in equality and DO NOT agree with segregation of any kind. So why don't I agree with same sex marriage?

It is not that I don't agree with same sex marriage... It's because in my eyes, marriage is a religious rite. And if America is going to claim "a separation of church and state" then constitutionally gay marriage cannot be legalized since the U.S. does not have jurisdiction over it. Religious practices are something that every citizen has the right to practice. But religious doctrines/dogmas have their own views of what is acceptable and what is not. I do not believe that homosexuals shouldn't be ALLOWED to be married. I do not agree with dogmas that think of them as evil for being born the way that they are. It is not due to genetics. It is how God or whatever-higher-power-you-believe-in, made that individual.

I do not agree with America banning same sex civil unions and domestic partnerships (even a civil marriage would be fine-- since that is the legal concept of it). That is something the country has power over. It is unconstitutional--especially since they claimed that not giving someone the right to vote because of gender or skin color was wrong all those years ago, then the same goes for sexual orientation. That is discrimination in my eyes, and just leaves a bitter taste in mouth every time I think of it. I don't think it's fair that partners aren't listed as next of kin and have no jurisdiction on what should happen to their spouse in case of medical emergency. That's ludicrous and disrespectful to the commitment that two individuals have made for each other. And if you're spending the rest of your life with someone, you should be able to claim them on your taxes. It seems like people are slow to accept ANY form of homosexual union because the whole religious aspect and just on a monetary level. Do you have any idea how much America is making by homosexuals not being able to claim their spouse of their tax return?

All in all, I'm just looking at it from a purely legal standpoint. I am not basing this on religion, so please don't take it that way. I am just of the mindset that America does not have the power to allow gay marriages if you are thinking solely in the religious aspect. That is up to whatever religion that an individual practices. However, homosexuals have the right as U.S. citizens to be recognized on a social and governmental level because if they can fight for their country, give their life for it and pay taxes then whatever union they want should be recognized by their country. Why do you think the right to vote got bumped down to 18 historically?

Why blogging?

I want to write about current events and give my thoughts on how I feel about said news that is being published. I want to talk about issues that seem to make the world go round and post it on a place where others can possibly appreciate it.