Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tragic Homecoming

CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS / @CSI:cafeImage by [puamelia] via Flickr
Last Saturday night a 15-year old girl left early from the Richmond High School homecoming dance, in order to call her father for a ride home. Instead, she let a group of friends and young adults talk her into having alcoholic beverages in a nearby parking lot....after which time she got drunk, and passed out.

However, instead of being helped home in her vulnerable state, the girl was forcibly dragged to a shaded courtyard just blocks from the dance...where she was savagely gang- raped, beaten and robbed of her jewelry.

Ten or more teenage and older boys, participated in these horrific crimes, some of them joining into the act LONG after it had begun. Even worse, the ordeal lasted almost two-and-a half HOURS, after which time ONE person called 911...FINALLY! (Among the many passers-by and onlookers near the scene) Why no one stepped in or called for help sooner...remains a puzzling mystery.

To some degree of relief, the victim was released from the hospital yesterday, while five suspects were caught, and are being charged with crimes that could send them to prison for life. Four of them are teenagers being charged as adults, and, Richmond Police plan on making more arrests as new leads trickle in..

They've spent the past four days interviewing students and young adults who's accounts have helped lead to a few of the current arrests. A 20,000 reward is even being offered for information leading to criminal convictions in the case.

Recovering from tragedy will be difficult--for the young girl, for her school, and for the community. As the victim rested at home, Richmond High School rallied back with a large gathering of concerned students, teachers and community leaders...each speaking out loudly to protect and defend their reputations.

Teachers talked about ending our society's trend toward de-humanizing women, especially the current attitudes some men fashion toward them, specifically on TV and in music industry.

Community leaders also reminded us that gang rape and other despicable crimes are not just problems in Richmond, or other cities with low income and high crime rates. These problems occur everywhere!

Richmond High School students agree, saying they are proud of themselves, and claiming they aren't animals or savages....but responsible, respectable individuals who care about making positive changes to improve their common future. The school's impressively solid state testing scores bare this out.

The West Contra Costa school board sub-committee has also called for increased security and cameras, both in, and around local high schools. In addition, nearby communities have offered to form neighborhood watch programs and other increased crime awareness methods.

Let's just hope that all who were criminally involved in these crimes will be justly prosecuted....while the victim, her school, and her community, continue to heal and learn from this horrid gang-rape, in order to to prevent it from ever happening again!

Thanks, and watch out for one-another.


"Best Wishes"--PTCJr
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Friday, October 23, 2009

'The End of the World'...sooner, later, or never?

Planets of the solar systemImage via Wikipedia

Members of every generation have pointed toward a possible 'End of the World' scenerio based on some biblical, astronomical, or technological. phenomenom,  that would mark the end of time for all mankind....usually within their lifetime.

Fortunately, their skeptics have been correct up until now... however, many who took stock in some spiritual or religious apocalypse due around the year 2000.... blinked hard a few years back!

This was the time pointed to by 16th-century clairvoyant Nostradamus and several other ancient prophets,  as the reign of some demonic Anti-Christ who would destroy nearly all of civilization,  before finallly being overtaken by God.  No sign of any satanic beast yet.

There was also a fear that all computerized technology would crash and burn when it's time-coded memory systems erased....hurling the world into kaos  as the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve, 2000.(Otherwise known as 'Y to K')   Nine years later, 'we're still going'...strong!

Our latest nightmare to come is right around the corner....just 1155 days away.  On December 21st, 2012 at the beginning of winter solstice, the earth and our sun will align with the galactic equator, as happens every year at this time. 

However, in 2012  this galactic alignment will directly intersect our solar system's common plane of ecliptic orbit at the precise, center-core of the Milky Way galaxy...where exists a huge cluster of black, dust clouds.

The ancient Mayan Indians actually based their calender and timeline on the appearance of these cosmic clouds during their astrological observations. They called the clouds 'The Great Rift', and for told of its perfect, galactic, epicenter intersection with our sun in 2012.... which is predicted to either enlighten our planet.... or destroy it!

Other 2012 theories have sprung up lately, some plausable, and others far-fetched.  They've even made the movie '2012'.  All stories tell about the end of the world.  However,just how many versions are believable? Who cares? Who's scared?  Who's bored?

As for me, 2012 is believable, but not especially least not.yet!  It's certainly not boring. But what I really care about are the actual dangers we face every earthquakes, tsunami's, or that volcanic eruption at Yellowstone Park that could wipe out half the world if it erupts? (It's due any year now). How about global warming, pandemics, deadly virus's,  biological and chemical warefare.... and the frightening possibility of a nuclear haulocaust?.

If we DO manage to survive 2012, there's always the chance Earth could get hit by an asteroid. Actually, this might be the most possible scenerio of all.  IN FACT,  we already know WHERE, and WHEN we're going to get JUST-missed!!!  This is not a prediction or a guess. This is a scientific, astronomical, astrophysical, mathematical  FACT!

On Friday, April 13th, 2029 an asteroid named NM4  will pass the earth traveling at 23,000 miles per hour....and MISS the Earth's surface by 18,600 miles. That may seem far, but our geosynchronous satellites are even further out at 22,300 miles. There's a slim chance our satellites,  and the earthly conveniences they providel....could get in the  way!

The MN4 is 320 meters wide, and if it did hit land it would obliterate a state the size of Texas.  An ocean hit would create multiple tsunamis...and millions would die either way.  However, MN4 would not wipe out the world.  Why am I  even mentioning  this if it's going to miss us?  Because,  seven years later in 2035, MN4 will swing back by Earth....and some astronomers worry that our orbital plane may shake it off course.....and into us!

In 2004 when MN4 was first discovered, scientists gave it a 1 in 60 chance of hitting earth.  Those bad odds weren't nearly bad enough....and happily, better data has increased the odds over time.  Let's hope the data doesn't change for the worse over the next few years....or we discover another, bigger asteroid coming our way even sooner.

As for me, I'll stick to what I know, and that is; if I'm alive in 20 years,  I will actually walk outside on lucky Friday, April 13th, 2029 and gaze thankfully up at the night sky, watching this bright, point of light, four times larger than the biggest star....blaze across the heavens moving faster than any satellite. So long MN4!, I'll say.  I hope to see you pass safely by in does the rest of the world....if it's still around!

Thanks, and take care every day,


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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Congratulations to President Obama on the Nobel Peace Prize

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 09:  U.S. President Barac...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Barely nine months into office, President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — with the committee citing Obama’s “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy” and his support for nuclear arms reduction.
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," said Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel committee.
All five people on the Nobel committee are politicians selected by the Norwegian parliament, and are said to have a broad affinity for Obama’s posture on the world stage. The vote was unanimous.
“Obama’s speech at the United Nations was received very positively, and falls right in line with the way Norwegians see their own foreign policy,” said Terje Leiren, professor of Scandinavian studies at the University of Washington, Seattle.
For those Republicans who had wildly cheered only last week Chicago’s loss for the 2016 Olympics was given a swift kick in the pants with this Nobel announcement. Chicago loses the bid for the 2016 Olympics but President Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize! How wonderful is that!
In my opinion, the award was also a vindication of Obama’s pledge to make America sane again, a member of the international community, gone is the cowboy mentality that ruled the White House for 8 long devastating years. We now have an intelligent President that sees America for what it is with all its flaws. We are one nation that cannot rule the world with hard handed tactics – our way or the highway. The Nobel committee sent a message with this award that America elected the right person to lead us into the 21st century.
So, congratulations on your award, Mr. President – well deserved.
Carol - CFO

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Three Cheers For Toyota

TOKYO - JUNE 25:  Akio Toyoda, newly appointed...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Toyota Corporation's President is Akio Toyoda.  No, that is not a spelling error.  Toyoda spells his last name differently, but that has no reflection on his dedication and reverence for his company's good name as well.
Earlier this week, Toyoda ordered Toyota Inc. to immediately recall 3.8 million cars sold in the United States. Five people had already died, one in San Jose due to defective floor mats which jammed gas pedals, and caused 102 incidents over the past few years.
The San Jose man blamed for causing a road death in 2007, was vindicated following this recall, which was finally ordered Monday following a weekend accident in Santee CA. that killed four more people....again due to the defect.
However, the big surprise isn't Toyota's recall of auto's.(which was record breaking)
It was the heart felt apology of its president Toyoda!  "Four prescious lives have been lost, and I offer my deepest condolences," said Toyoda. Customers bought our cars thinking they were the safest, but now we've given them cause for grave concern. I can't begin to express my remorse."
How often do the leaders of corporate giants offer such tender apologies?  Not often enough. Three cheers for Toyoda...and Toyota! 
One final note about accelerator pedals jamming.  It's not just the floor mats that can get in the way.  Always inspect the drivers side floor before starting up...especially if you have children who's toys and other objects tend to clutter up the car at times.
Make sure nothing on or next to you can fall down near the pedals. Before the new cell phone laws, I was on my phone in heavy traffic, when it slipped down...down...down in back of the gas pedal. It was dark, it was crazy, and it happened!  That's right...I could o longer accelerate.
Fortunatly I was able to brake-pump and horn-toot my way to the right shoulder and retrieve that well placed cell phone. I couldn't help but be thankful that the gas pedal wasn't jammed open...rather that closed.
Stay safe and drive defensively...Sincerely  PeteCam4
"Best Wishes"--PTCJr

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