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29 August 2007

Fourth Place in Miss Teen USA, Grand Prize Winner of the DUH Award

Let's see some comments on this one.

Here's a video of Miss Teen South Carolina, answering a question in the Miss Teen USA pageant the other day.

Watch, and be amazed.

Posted by rickroot at 5:15 AM | Link | 1 comment
05 June 2007

An Illegal Alien Killed My Friend

So, as I blogged yesterday, my friend George died in a car wreck yesterday.

The story has been updated - http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1472083/

The driver of the Tahoe - which was reported stolen in Charlotte - was apparently caught trying to cross the border illegally twice in 2004, according to a fingerprint match.  So, he's an illegal immigrant, drunk, and driven a stolen vehicle.

Nice.

His passenger was also an illegal immigrant, who had been deported several times already.

Can we get the damn fence built already?  Please?

Keep these $#@^ers out of our country.

Well, keep the driver here, put him in prison for a long time... deport the other guy, and slam the door shut behind him.

Posted by rickroot at 8:06 PM | Link | 2 comments
16 May 2007

Joel Hurley, Debra LeFave, and the Double Standard

A 28 year old Fayetteville teaching assistant named Joel Hurley was arrested today and charged with numerous felony counts of criminal sexual conduct for having sex with a female student.

Here is a news article about it from WRAL.com.

Right now, the age of the student hasn't been released, but he was an assistant at a junior high school (6th-8th grade).  It will be interesting to see how this case moves forward in wake of the Debra Lefave case, which I blogged about back in November, 2005.

You may remember, Debra LeFave was the hot 20-something teacher who was getting busy with her 13 year old male student.  She ended up making a plea agreement that was so minimal, that the judge refused to allow it because he felt she needed far more punishment.  The DA ended up dropping the case against her.

The double standard comes into play because many people - including myself - would say DAMN!  Lucky kid!  Nobody says that about a teenager girl in the same situation with an adult male teacher though.

Debra Lefave should've gotten serious time, but she didn't.

You can bet, if this guy is convicted, he'll get serious time.

We'll see.

 

Posted by rickroot at 9:26 PM | Link | 0 comments
03 May 2007

WakeCares Screws Wake County Schools, Parents, and Voters

In November, 2006, the voters of Wake County, North Carolina, voted on a school bond proposal, which included nearly one billion dollars for schools, and included a controversial provision to convert 22 public schools from a traditional schedule to a year round schedule.

Although the issue and the bond were controversial, the bond still passed with a significant majority.

A very small group of parents concerned only for themselves and their summer vacations, with no regard to the MAJORITY of the families in Wake County, sued the school board.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning released his decision today, in which he determined that the year round program violates a 2004 state law saying that schools cannot begin before August 25, and cannot extend past June 10.

This law was never intended to affect year round schools, and Judge Manning foolishly applied it to the year round schools.

Now, with only 2 months until the new school year, the entire county will be cast into chaos, as 20,000 families have no idea what school they'll be attending, and the School Board will have to go through the entire reassignment process *AND* figure out where to put the NET INCREASE of 8000 students in the county schools.

My daughter starts Kindergarten this year, and we *WANTED* her to go to year round schools.  The proposal would've converted our local school - only 1/2 mile from our house - to a year round calendar.  Now, I don't know what we're going to do.  IF they go back to the previous setup, our assigned Year Round school would be Turner Creek Elementary - 8-10 miles from our house.  No big deal, I drive right past it most days on the way to work.

But will we be able to get her into Turner Creek?  God only knows.

To WakeCares and those who support them - thanks a lot.  Don't let democracy get in the way of your summer vacations.

PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!

Posted by rickroot at 6:27 PM | Link | 7 comments
30 April 2007

CFL: Compact Flourenscent Lightbulbs - Are They Dangerous?

IMPORTANT UPDATE:
Some interesting articles for your reading pleasure relating to this blog entry.

Someone sent me an interesting article called The CFL Mercury Nightmare, about a woman from Ellsworth, Maine, and her recent ordeal.

Essentially, she broke one of those new fangled "compact flourescent lightbulbs" (CFL) in her daughters bedroom.  She'd heard they contained hazardous materials and called Home Depot (where I assume she got it).  They told her that the CFLs contain mercury, and advised her to call Poison Control, who in turn recommended that she contact Maine's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  The DEP sent out a specialist who took some measurements in the bedroom and discovered "mercury levels in the bedroom in excess of six times the state's "safe" level for mercury contamination".  The DEP agent suggested she contact an environmental cleanup firm, who gave her a cleanup estimate of $2,000.

OUCH!

These bulbs are supposed to save you money.  But they're DANGEROUS!  Damn, I don't want a bulb in my house that can cost me $2,000 to clean up if I break one - or pose serious health risks if I don't clean up a broken bulb properly.

Worst case scenario for a broken light bulb should be a few cuts on your feet or hands, not birth defects.

Posted by rickroot at 12:21 PM | Link | 1 comment
17 April 2007

What if it happened at Duke?

Okay, sorry for two blog entries one right after the other about the same event... but this is a different topic.

I work on campus at Duke University, and I was talking with some coworkers this morning about the Virginia Tech shooting, and we were wondering.. what if it happend at Duke?

Virginia Tech, from what I've heard, has a campus wide PA system that went unused during this tragedy.  I know the powers that be at Duke must be contemplating what they would do if something like this happened. 

We have emergency call boxes all over campus, in the parking lots and such - but of course those don't help at all when the tragedy is occuring inside the building.

Like disaster recovery, it's hard to plan for something like this, because you don't think it'll ever happen.

Our building will never be blown up, and there will never be a mass shooting on campus.

Or will there?

Hopefully, people will have learned at the very least that emailing the student body in an emergency situation is not an option.  I mean c'mon.  We know that tech geeks like myself check email every 3 minutes during the day, but I don't think that's common.  If you've got a real emergency situation, there's got to be SOME OTHER PLAN in place to disseminate that information.

Here's an example, on a much smaller scale and not an emergency:

Yesterday, a tree fell part way in the Campus Drive lot, endangering a number of cars in the lot.  The lot is shared by people who work in a variety of locations on campus - mostly in 6-7 buildings right on Campus Drive, but others work down in the Perkins Library or in other locations down on west campus.

These 7 endangered cars needed to be moved... but how to contact their owners?  In theory, Duke Police could contact the vehicles owners by looking up the parking permits in the parking database, and contacting the owners of the vehicles individually.  That never happened though.  My co-worker went out to see if one of the cars was his, and it wasn't.  But he had the sense to write down the licence plate numbers of the other cars and gave them to someine in our office, who emailed everyone the licence plate numbers.

I don't know how it all worked out, but I don't think any cars were damaged.

But it still makes me wonder... what would we do if a tragedy struck?

Posted by rickroot at 8:54 PM | Link | 2 comments

Virginia Tech and the Bystander Effect

I was listening to Neil Boortz tonight on my way home from bowling.  Normally I don't because he's a hater of democrats and liberals, which I generally align with.  But I do like some of the ideas he supports, like the Fair Tax.  Read up on it.

Anyway, Neil mentioned something called the Bystander Effect, a pyschological phenomenon where bystanders to a violent crime are less likely to do anything about it if there are more people witnessing the crime.

He brought up the case of the murder of Kitty Genovese - a woman who was attacked and murdered on the street outside her New York apartment building in 1964.  The attack lasted 30 minutes, and nobody called the police until AFTER the murder was completed and the murderer had fled the scene.  A police investigation determined that 38 people heard he call for help, and not one of them did anything about it.  Some of them WATCHED the attack from their windows high above the street.

So how does this relate to the tragedy at Virginia Tech?

I don't know.  I wasn't there, thank god.  But the gunman shot over 50 people, and over 30 of them died.  He obviously unloaded a lot of bullets, and probably had to reload multiple times.  Maybe he was quick.  I wonder if anyone attempted to subdue him - putting their own lives at risk to do so, of course.

What would I do?  Honesty compels me to tell you that I'd probably run and hide.

I don't know if the Bystander Effect really applies here, because there were no bystanders.  There wree only victims.

I'd wager that the police were notified pretty quickly once the second shooting started.  But did anyone try to stop the guy?

BTW, this is not about gun control.  I don't want to hear anyone tell me that gun control could've prevented this, and I don't want to hear anyone tell me how the liberal media wants it to be all about gun control.  It's not, and they don't.  A few people might bring it up, but it's not "the media."

Posted by rickroot at 8:43 PM | Link | 0 comments
16 April 2007

Prayer Request for the Hokie Family

By now, you've probably all heard about the shooting at Virginia Tech, which has left somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 students dead and more injured.

Take a moment out of your day when you read this to say a prayer for the all the members of the Virginia Tech family who've been affected by this terrible tragedy.

Posted by rickroot at 2:38 PM | Link | 0 comments
11 April 2007

Sanity regarding Don Imus

I found this article on KansasCity.com by a reporter - Jason Whitlock - that I mostly agree with regarding his summary of the Don Imus situation.  I sent him an email about it, and I thought I'd share it here.  Read the article first!

Mr. Whitlock,

I appreciate your completely sane point of view on the Don Imus "situation" and I mostly agree with your point of view, though far be it for me to determine what problems blacks do or do not face.

However, I wouldn't say that Imus is "irrelevant."   I don't really consider him to be a "shock jock"... Imus in the morning is a comedy / news show, and the fact that he has so many legitimate guests and tackles real issues makes him far more relevant than someone like Howard Stern.

If you talked to any of the number of people and charities who've been helped by Don Imus' numerous charity efforts, I think you'd find that he's far from irrelevant.

Personally, I found what he said to be offensive, but Don Imus says offensive things on a daily basis, and those that listen to the show take it for what it is.

Mr. Imus does a lot of good in this world, I think, and he's able to do so because of his radio show.  It'd be a shame if he were to lose his job over this.

Rick

Posted by rickroot at 7:20 PM | Link | 2 comments
15 February 2007

Peanut Butter Recall

If you've got a jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, with a product code starting with "2111", throw it out or take it back to the grocery store.  Apparently, the CDC has linked over 100 cases of salmonella poisoning to this particular batch of peanut butter.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070215/NEWS01/70215037/1002/NEWS

Curiously, we had a jar of this peanut butter - a very large jar - and we'd probably eaten 3/4 of it.  I threw it away anyway.

BTW, my legs hurt.  I started my weight training yesterday.

Posted by rickroot at 3:14 PM | Link | 5 comments
23 November 2005

Double Standard - Debra Lefave

So I guess Debra Lefave pled guilty yesterday. You know the story. 20-something remedial reading teacher has sex 3 times in 4 days with one of her 14 year old students. She apparently also gave him oral sex numerous times.

Now, Miss Lefave is not terribly bad looking, and if I remember what it was like to be in 9th grade, the kid is probably a super star among his peers. "Holy crap, you banged Miss lefave?!!! DUDE! SHE'S SMOKIN'"

But that is not the reason for this entry.

Miss Lefave got 3 years "house arrest" and 7 years "probation.

It seems to be like the double-standard is in place here, and she's getting off EASY because of that double standard.

I will grant that the boy was probably a willing and happy participant, but in opposite cases, that rarely matters.

For example, my old neighbor, age 32 at the time, met two "sisters" on the internet in a chat room, age 13 and 16. He set up a meeting with them where he was to drive to a hotel in Virginia to get it on with the two girls, and video tape the whole thing. The "girls" were willing participants. When he got to the hotel room in virginia, he found FBI agents waiting for him. It was a setup.

Now, he talked to these "girls" and planned/arranged the encounter and obviously intended to go through with it, but he never actually did anything with any girls. But he got 3-1/2 years in the slammer.

Miss Lefave had sex 3 times with a 14 year old boy, and sucked on his schlong a couple of times too. And it's "house arrest" for her.

My neighbor got what he deserved. Did Debra Lefave?
Posted by rickroot at 9:12 AM | Link | 48 comments
08 June 2005

WiFi on airplanes

How desperate are you?

So, you're on your way to Japan, China, England, Australia, or some other non-US destination, and it's a long flight.  You bring a book, a magazine or two, maybe your iPod.

You've got your laptop, so maybe you'll watch a DVD or something.

Well, United Airlines has just gotten regulatory approval to offer WiFi service on their planes.  You'll be able to surf the net from 40,000 feet.  But it's probably gonna cost ya.

The article linked below mentions a european airline that offers similar service for a flat fee of $30 per flight or $10 for a half hour.

Personally, I'm not that desperate.  Sleeping is cheaper.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/2005-06-06-united-wi-fi_x.htm

Posted by rickroot at 1:10 PM | Link | 3 comments
02 June 2005

Good joke, bad timing

911 dispatcher reprimanded for wisecrack.

Did y'all here about this one?  Some busybody mom comes home from work one day to find that her two teenage daughters had been fighting.  One of them kicked a hole in the wall.  They weren't fighting anymore.  There was no blood, or anything like that.  I think she just wanted to scare her kids.

So she calls 911.

Yes, the emergency hot line.  When you're being robbed, or your house is on fire, or someone has had a heart attack, you call 911.

Anyway, the 911 operator listens to her story, and in a complete deadpan voice, says:

So, do you want us to come out and shoot her?

Apparently, the busybody mother was not pleased, and she railed into the guy and complained to his supervisors.  So the manager reprimands him and lets the entire group know that if anything like that ever happens again, whoever does it will be fired.

But we all know behind the scenes, they're all laughing their asses off.

Posted by rickroot at 1:39 PM | Link | 1 comment
26 May 2005

Ashlee Simpson's Halftime Fiasco at the Orange Bowl

I've been hearing this audio on the Jim Rome Show regularly since it first occurred.   We all know that Ashlee Simpson can't sing live, especially after the lip-syncing incident on Saturday Night Live, but at last year's Orange Bowl, Ashlee Simpson was one of the halftime entertainers...

After much searching, I finally found hte video and wanted to share it with you.

Posted by rickroot at 2:24 PM | Link | 1 comment
14 May 2005

How To Win An Argument

At some point in the past, I read a list of rules for winning arguments.  It was one of those funnies that gets passed around in emails from person to person.  One of the rules was "Whenever possible, compare your opponent to Hitler".

As in, "That sounds like something Hitler would say."

Apparently, the Wal-Mart executives that want to open a supercenter in Flagstaff, Arizona took this seriously, and published an advertisement in the newspaper there that included a picture of a book burning in Nazi Germany.

They're now apologizing.  Here's an article about it.

Posted by rickroot at 3:23 PM | Link | 2 comments
09 May 2005

North Carolina church kicks out democrats

"My Way or the Highway" (to hell?) says pastor Chan Chandler

I love news that puts North Carolina in the national spotlight.

*sigh*

Click the link below to read on....

Posted by rickroot at 4:33 PM | Link | 1 comment
03 May 2005

How many calories does this thing have?

Pennsylvania pub introduces 15 pound burger

This is a photo blog, click here to view all thumbnails. or click here to view the text of this entry.

Holy crap.... a 15 pound burger!  10.5 pounds of meat, 23 slices of cheese, etc...

What's most facinating about this story is that their previous "big burger" had 6 pounds of meat and 5 pounds of toppings... and was recently eaten within a 3 hour time limit by a 100 pound local college student.

111 pounds, after completion, I guess.

click through to read the article.

Posted by rickroot at 1:19 PM | Link | 8 comments
02 May 2005

Seven Legged Calf!

Calf with seven legs
Seven-leg calf needs a home


Chandarbhan Singh holds up the seven legs of his calf at Coosial Road, Ravine Sable, Chaguanas, yesterday. Photo: KRISHNA MAHARAJ

Livestock farmer Chandarbhan Singh is looking for a home for a calf which was born at the weekend-with seven legs.

Singh, 62, who has been taking care of cows for the past 30 years, said he would not be able to take care of the calf because of its condition.

He lives at Coosial Road, Ravine Sable, Chaguanas and has seven other cows.

"I believe its a miracle for something like this to happen. In my opinion it is of religious significance. It is the first time this ever happened to me or any one in this country," Singh said.

He said he would not be able to take care of the calf because soon another of his cows is due to give birth .

"Taking care of the calf will be costly and I cannot afford to take it to a vet for treatment. Animals like these need regular checks-ups and maybe surgery," Singh. said.

He told the Express he was present when the calf was born.

"I realised that something out of the ordinary was happening, but I like the way the mother of the calf stood calm until the birth was completed," Singh said.

He said he did not know if the calf would survive but would like to see it get a new home .

Singh said the calf has been attracting visitors from various parts of Central Trinidad since its birth.

Rattandai Singh, not related to Chandarbhan Singh, said she has been living in Ravine Sable for 55 years and described the birth of the seven leg calf as a miracle.

"We are living in the dark age which is called (Kalyug), and during this time miracles would happen all over the world, so no one should be surprised," she said.

Posted by rickroot at 3:34 PM | Link | 1 comment
08 April 2005

North Carolina House Passes Lottery Bill

Senate up next

North Carolina is the only state on the east coast without a lottery.  Our state house of representatives recently passed a lottery bill 61-59 and it is now up to the state senate.

To this effort, I wrote some email detailing my concerns to both the represenatives and the senators for Wake County, and in the comments that follow, I will post their responses.  The letter was basically the same to each senator, and the letters to the representatives were similar, except for obvious changes since they already voted on the bill.

Posted by rickroot at 10:49 PM | Link | 7 comments