3.30.2006

Tasty tidbits 2: Electric Boogaloo

I haven't been posting lately because I've been quite busy---which seems to be going around with everyone else I know, too. Hopefully, things will lighten up in a month.

Or not.

I've had a bunch of stuff lined up to do some "meta-physical discussion" (happy, sagefool?), but time constraints lead me to simply do a dump of all the things I've found interesting. So...here it goes---all the shiny stuff that attracted my attention....

I found an interesting post on TalkingPointsMemo.com (via Americablog) about how bloggers aren't always sourced for their investigative journalism by mainstream media.

From my new favorite blog, feministing, I learned of an *ugly* incident at Duke with their male lacrosse team. Apparently, there's another blog that's documenting the whole thing.

I found some livejournal thing that I *think* is by someone who works at Bacaro. (I've only eaten there once but it was *fab.*) I always find interesting things on 27 Views of the Boneyard. This time it was this:
NAIS (National Animal Identification System) might mean the end of our supply of chicken and duck eggs from the Moore's, not to mention their Tamworth hogs. The government wants every animal to be embedded with a microchip and every farmer to have a computerized monitoring system. Please visit noNAIS.org for more information.
Ack! I *love* eggs and meat from the Moore's, and if you haven't eaten either, you're missing out. Their pork chops are like T-bone steaks. You'll gnaw on the bone before your done. And their eggs...my frittata were brilliantly yellow and delicious. The farmer's market should be starting up in April. I'll have to pick up some stuff from the Moore's and find out what's up.

I can't remember where I first got the link for design*sponge, but I'm so glad I found it. It's got some of the neatest stuff on it. The first thing that caught my eye was this cool purse by conphorm.

A friend sent me a link to a story in Time that she thought might cheer me up entitled "Republicans on the Run." Frankly the most interesting part of the article are the potential proposals the Democratic party might put forth on the campaign trail.
Indeed, the party's House leaders and committee chairs have begun making plans for their first moves if they take power, Democratic sources told TIME. Those sources said one of the first steps that a newly installed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would take would be to introduce legislation making college tuition more affordable for middle-class families, perhaps through tax credits and lower interest rates on student loans. Democrats would move immediately to tighten port security, seeking to have 100% of incoming container cargo inspected. A Democratic official briefed on the plans said the party would quickly push a bill designed to inhibit future lobbying scandals. The sources said Democrats would push for changes to the troubled Medicare prescription-drug plan, giving more control to Medicare and less to private providers and striking the provision that prevents the government from negotiating prices with pharmaceutical companies.

Administration officials say they fear that losing even one house of Congress would mean subpoenas and investigations--a taste of the medicine House Republicans gave Bill Clinton. "Everything will grind to a halt," one said. That prediction could be a scare tactic designed to get out the G.O.P. vote. But Democrats say that if they are victorious in November, they plan to force Bush to be more accountable, and they intend to dig through records of contracts in Iraq, for homeland security and for the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Democratic Representative Henry Waxman of California, one of the most dogged critics of the Administration, would be in line to chair the House Government Reform Committee and could write witness lists instead of open letters to the West Wing. "Some of these ranking members have had 10 years to think about what they would do," a Democratic official said. If Republicans can't change the course of things soon, the Democrats may have their chance.
We'll see what happens over the next few months. The 100% container inspection appeals to me immediately. As is the idea of accountability and fiscal responsibility (remember that?) at the federal level.

Problem is we got a big dang mess to clean up and it seems like emptying the ocean with a teacup.

And finally, after reading about an accident that occurred on my street a few weeks ago, I had another accident happen in front of my house last Friday night. I heard a loud series of crashes and bangs and screeches out front around 2am so I peeped outside Mrs. Kravitz-style and saw a Honda accord that had run into the curb right in front of my house---right where I usually park. But my upstairs neighbor was away for work so I was in the drive that night. I called the police and about *six* showed up to investigate. Eventually, they conducted a field sobriety test---which he failed. He was cuffed and arrested.

I went out the next morning and saw that the guy had *actually* hit the curb in front of my neighbor's house before swerving and scraping all down the side of a car in front of my house and apparently spun around to hit the curb so far perpendicular that it was coming close to reverse parallel. (Hard to describe, really....) When the tow truck started to move the wrecked car around, it was obvious that the front axle was broken. The car that was parked in front of my house was smashed up pretty bad when it was hit. The back, driver's side, *and* front end were all smashed up.

For some reason, my street is the drunk short cut. People are avoiding the main street one block away. Other than the speeding and unusually high traffic at 8am and 2am each day, it's a great neighborhood. I almost wish they'd do some brick work on my street so people would find alternate short cuts.

3.24.2006

Goodbye, John Lee Johnson

John Lee Johnson, long-time Champaign-Urbana resident and activist, died Thursday night after complications from a 37-pound tumor he had removed in January.

WILL has put up a page with links to interviews with Mr. Johnson.

In addition, "The Giant," a short memorial segment on the impact of John Lee Johnson's life will air on UPTV, Channel 6, throughout the weekend:
  • Friday, March 24 9:00pm
  • Saturday, March 25 9:00am
  • Saturday, March 25 9:30pm
  • Sunday, March 26 2:30pm
  • Sunday, March 26 8:30pm
  • Sunday, March 26 10:00pm
I always tried to catch his WEFT radio program on alternating Saturdays. His enthusiasm, his dedication, his drive, his determination, his will always got me to pledge money to WEFT during the pledge drives.

John Lee, you will be missed.

See also:
John Lee Johnson benefit announced
Update on John Lee Johnson benefit

3.23.2006

I'm left speechless


Even in a country with a long history of gun violence, the killing of Larry Mugrage in a quiet Cincinnati suburb on Monday stands out as particularly senseless. Mr Martin seems to have been liked well enough in the neat bungalow-lined streets of Union Township, but he appears to have been obsessed with the territorial integrity of his patchy lawn.

Neighbours said he would work himself into a rage if they mowed a foot over the invisible dividing line separating their gardens. "He was really warped on that stuff," one local resident said.

Even after killing a young boy, who was apparently running home to fetch a video game, Mr Martin, 66, seemed indignant. "I've been being harassed by him and his parents for five years. Today just blew it up," he told the operator. "Kid's just been giving me a bunch of shit, making the other kids harass me and my place, tearing things up."

"Okay, so what'd you do?" the police dispatcher asked.

"I shot him with a goddamn 410 shotgun twice."

"You shot him with a shotgun? Where is he?"

"He's laying in his yard," Mr Martin said in a tone of calm satisfaction, as if he had just disposed of a dangerous animal.

Via the Guardian.

Hospital caught dumping patient

What's worse than a body attachment?

Getting dumped on the street outside a Skid Row mission in a hospital gown and slippers

The issue of dumping people released from jails and hospitals onto skid row surfaced in September, when [Los Angeles police Capt. Andrew] Smith publicly complained about it.

The city attorney's office is investigating and may criminally charge or sue hospitals that drop off patients against their will, officials said.

Look at my yummy soup....




















I'm addicted to the Tom Yum Noodle soup at Basil Thai. I think the soup at the Green St. location is a little more flavorful than that at the Urbana location, but regardless, I dig this soup.

It's a hot and sour soup. The beef soup (shown above) has rice noodles, sprouts, beef, green onions, garlic, peanuts, and some other stuff I can't quite put my finger on.

The vegetable has tofu, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and straw mushrooms instead of the beef.

mmmm....

3.22.2006

Unofficial primary results posted

Yes, I'm a complete geek and I waited up for the tallies. Helped that I took a little nap earlier.

Check out the Champaign County Clerk website for more details. I like that you can see the under votes. Shows which races were unknowns to people.

Eisendrath over Blagojevich in Champaign County.

Republican governor candidates in order of votes: Brady, Topinka, Oberweis, Gidwitz, Martin.

CSWMTD passes. Unit 4 referendum fails---4000 for, 7000 against.

3.21.2006

Randi Rhodes on CNN twice tonight

I used to listen to Randi Rhodes quite a bit in the afternoons. I'd stream it on my computer while working quietly away. Lately I haven't had the chance to hear her for several reasons. Tonight while waiting for the election results, I found out she'd been on CNN *twice* tonight. If you haven't heard her before or you like her, here's some links.

First, here's Randi on Lou Dobbs with a whole slew of people talking about immigration. It's broken up into to because it's a long segment.

PART I:


PART II:


Second, here's Randi on Paula Zahn's show. This one is less of a discussion, more of an argument that goes nowhere.

[adult swim] expanding on *and* off the tube

TVWeek has a small blurb about [as] starting a half hour earlier. But the kicker is this:
The service is also launching Adult Swim Fix, a broadband service that will stream full-length episodes of the channel's original comedies and select anime favorites. Seven episodes of content will be posted each week.
I've got a post that's been in draft form for a while that I need to finish, but I really think that more and more radio and television shows should move to the internet and allow downloadable shows.

3.20.2006

More March Madness: Unit 4 Referendum

I've been sick for about a week with food poisoning so I was quite surprised when I talked to my supervisor and he told me about the last minute confusion surrounding the proposed $66 million referendum on the ballot during tomorrow's state primary. Late-night meetings and new proposals were not enough to change the plan, however.

I wasn't quite sure what the black community's concerns were regarding the referendum but I also wasn't quite sure how it could be changed *after* people had already voted for or against the original plan.

Well, I just got an email regarding on the referendum on the ballot tomorrow. It's also posted on the IMC website along with a flyer that was handed out this past Sunday. It goes into more detail regarding the reasons why some in the black community are urging people to vote no.
The bottom line is that the referendum and the Consent Decree were originally to be dealt with as two separate issues. When the Board lumped them together they told the Black community that their Consent Decree would pass easier. What the Board NEVER said was that during this "lumping together" the Black community would lose seats and much needed school expansions within their community.

To satisfy developers, a NEW school is going to be built in Boulder Ridge and the Board tried to "bait and switch" their way to claiming a school built in Boulder Ridge would somehow satisfy the Consent Decree because it had 141 Black students who lived in that district and that district was growing.

What they didn't say was that there are a few thousand Black students in the over crowded two schools in the Black areas. What they didn't say were how many non-Black families live in the Boulder Ridge area whose numbers far exceed those comparatively few Black students.

The disproportionately growing Latina/o community lives and attends school in one of the Black areas (Booker T. Washington Elementary). No where did the Board address the issue that these children are beginning to take the already stressed seats in this school. The Board would not address that a mere "new gym" and "new auditorium" at Washington was never going to satisfy the problem of adding more seats and strands to Washington---let alone the desperate need for more Bilingual classrooms and teachers. A strand is the formal label for grade (ex. a two strand school has 2-first grades, 2-second grades and so forth. A three strand has 3-first grades, 3-second grades and so forth.)

Currently all NEW schools are required to have four strands. Currently Garden Hills (high-populated Black school) has 2-strands. Washington has 2-strands and under this current referendum will not add any strands only a new gym and auditorium. On the other hand Savoy and Boulder Ridge will have 4-strands. This means the kids in the Black neighborhoods are going to suffer in terms of education---or spend a great deal of time being bussed. And what about the low income parents who have no transportation. How are they going to get to parent-teacher conference and enroll their kids in after school programs when the children are attending schools far away from where they live. Savoy doesn't even want MTD to come to their village. They refused to accept MLK as a national holiday---and we are going to bus Black and Latina/o kids to those neighborhoods?

In Closing---A vote "NO" will force the Board to go back to the table to balance the proverbial pie and satisfy the Consent Decree. With or without a referendum---the school Board still must fulfill the Consent Decree and add seats. Please cast your vote "NO" to help the community we all say we are concerned about and the injustice which is about to crash down upon them.
The issue here, it seems to me, is an expansion of schools on the periphery and nothing in the areas which the consent decree was supposed to correct. And, from what I understand, voting for this referendum and the subsequent school built would satisfy the consent decree requirements.

First, I take issue with the exclusion of Stratton when talking about overcrowding. It's misleading. Stratton is not overcrowded by any stretch of the imagination. But Stratton isn't so empty that we don't need more schools.

However, what I have found particularly interesting in the run up to this referendum is how important the Savoy community's concerns over *their* children being bused is compared to the black community's concerns. Most blog posts and comments have addressed Savoy's needs and not much else. I agree that the periphery is expanding, but if the central parts of the city are lacking, they should be taken care of first. Especially since the periphery has a tendency not to want to contribute to the community as a whole once established (CSWMTD, anyone?). It's their perogative, but, as a result, I'm not too keen on helping develop the peripheral areas.

Look, I think busing sucks, too. And I'm not sure that busing white students in proportion is any better, but it sure makes it more equitable and spreads the burden across the community.

The consent decree was supposed to fix this mess. This referendum does nothing to improve that situation but rather increases the chances that black students will continue to be bused. And I don't blame people in the black community for being angry. I *definitely* never knew that voting for this referendum would be considered fulfilling the consent decree. It does help me understand the last minute meetings.

Regardless, with the lack of enthusiasm all around concerning this referendum, I wouldn't be surprised if it fails. From what I've read and heard people say, it seems that people don't trust the district to spend it wisely, people don't think certain aspects are important enough (like AC), people don't like the locations chosen, people don't like paying more in taxes, and people just don't know what the hell they are voting for.

I don't know how I'm going to vote, but I can't justify voting for a plan just because it's what's up for a vote right now.

3.19.2006

My worlds collide

The 1st Annual C-U Edible Books Festival scheduled for April 3rd from 11-1 at the Illini Union.

Now if only I could figure out how to make a book out of cheese and bacon....

3.12.2006

It ain't that hard for a pimp

Boy am I tired of the booty-n-thug marketing scheme....

The Washington Post has an article that point out the forgotten part of pimp adulation:

The ho....

3.11.2006

Matrix Ping Pong

While searching local blogs today, I found this little tidbit on Rezef Diary.

"Rooftop" bar proposed for Urbana

I love the News-Gazette RSS feed....

I think this sounds like a great idea. Looks like a couple of issues that need to be ironed out are increased power bills and parking.

Parking. Downtown Urbana is contemplating a *parking* crunch. Amazing. Already-leased spots in the parking garage and overflow hotel parking would have to be accommodated for this to work. Plus, just moving the parking to Lincoln Square for Friday-Sunday would be another issue in this parking shift. This would all be occurring during peak Market at the Square months and parking for that is already quite crowded.

Unofficial

Yah, I know it's been more than a week.

I completely forgot about Unofficial last Friday. Me and 6 other co-workers went for Tom Yum Noodle soup at Basil Thai on Green. I crave this stuff.

Anyway, we usually go before noon to avoid the crowd, so we met there around 11:30. It was amazing. Everywhere I looked, I saw drunk green people. Large groups of people were leaving apartment buildings dressed in their best: little green t-shirts and beads, short denim skirts, ugg boots; green theme t-shirts (pre-printed with cute stuff like "Screw me It's Unoffical!") and party hats; even guys in leprechaun outfits which cost either a lot of time or money; packs of dudes with their hair sprayed red....

I also saw a ton of people walking around with cases of beer---sorry to all you folks that think banning kegs is the solution---it's not.

Unofficial is now the shit. It's like Southern's Halloween celebration a decade (or more?) ago. Not letting the bars open, not allowing kegs, trying to stop college students from doing this, it's all going at it the wrong way.

This is spring break. This is Friday night. This is New Year's Eve in broad daylight. And this is only a big deal because people who normally are *never* on campus after 11pm Thursday-Sunday are getting a taste of it.

One way to "fix the problems" would be to go totally draconian: Go dry for a day. No bars, no package, no kegs, no nothing. Course, the cities would have to agree and it would have to be done in advance and then the date could be moved or people could simply spend their money on package in Mahomet, St. Joe, Tolono, Rantoul, etc. in advance. Plus, people *not* on campus would probably be hacked off about going dry on a Friday night as well.

Another option would be to go the route of spring break cities. Go tightly controlled for a day. Put every available officer on duty in Champaign, Urbana, and campus to check keg licenses, do ID checks in the bars, prevent open alcohol on the streets. Allow the bars to open early but require maximum staffing at all bars, put up orange fencing like they do at Greek Reunion in designated areas to control bar overflow, charge all the establishments that participate for the costs of all this extra manpower.

Or we could keep doing this meaningless stuff like pushing the bar hours back a few hours. Big deal...it's cheaper to drink at a house party anyway. Or banning kegs. That's just gonna mean more "punch." (And never, ever drink the punch. The punch is bad....)

Bizarre

My new favorite blog, feministing, has an entry this morning about a new perfume:

Vulva (NSFW---basically a bunch of pictures with a naked chick covering her hoo-ha with the perfume bottle)

My oh my.... I gotta agree with idea that women don't really need to *buy* this product so it apparently must be for men.

In a related theme, also found via feministing, Muffy's World of Vagina Euphemisims!