Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Panic over the .net

Last week, an e-mail was sent out to Juarez residents warning them about some major violence that was supposed to take place on the 24th and 25th of this month. Juarez has already been under siege because of the drug war that most residents took this e-mail very seriously.

Almost everyone feared to go outside so entire restaurants had no customers, a bull fight was canceled, concerts were canceled, people didn't show up for work. Juarez's economy took a heavy beating in just two days. To quote from Newspaper Tree "Restaurants, bars, hotels, pharmacies, and other businesses have reported losing between 20-70 percent of normal sales," because everyone was scared. I know of a few people who came to El Paso to hide from the danger.

I don't know all of the details and I never received the cautionary letter, but what I've heard on the news was that 25 people were killed that weekend in gangster fashion. There was at least one kidnapping and several arsons as well. It appears that the danger was real.

But the strange thing is that no one knows the origin of the e-mail. Evidently it was sent anonymously and everybody has a theory about who sent it. I think that the e-mail was authored by a goodhearted whistle blower in the gang community, but others disagree with me. A student from Juarez told me that the e-mail was concocted by some American seeking to benefit from the shutdown of Juarez. I completely disagree with this theory because El Paso and its sister city Juarez are one community separated by a ditch. (Ditch/River, Carmel/Caramel who cares?) Whatever happens to one city effects the other because we're connected economically, politically, and socially.

If you would like more information, click here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Go Taylor!

I'm a big country music fan and I saw the ACM awards last night. The Top New Female Vocalist was 18 year old Taylor Swift, who also wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on her album. Here she is giving the best performance of the night singing "Should've Said No." Enjoy the video.

Edit: I used to have a higher quality video instead of this one, but it was discovered by Dick Clark Productions and was banned by YouTube for copyright infringement. The stats on it were awesome though because it was the #1 viewed in almost every category for that day and got almost 70,000 hits in the 14 hours it was on the net. Oh well.

Edit: Something I hadn't noticed earlier was that at around 2:38 she switches microphones so she can do the water scene. Still the best performance of the night though. I don't think any of the other performers would have even dared to do a stunt like that.

Edit: The performance I had was again removed because Taylor Swift now is posting video on her channel on YouTube. This video is posted on her channel.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Back in El Paso

After my last finals, I took off to Las Vegas! (Nevada, not New Mexico). No I did not go there to party at the casinos and get drunk. I have family living up there. Vegas is like my second home because I go there so often. Here's a list of things you need to do if/when you go to Vegas.

The Casinos. The ones that you have to visit on Las Vegas blvd (aka The Strip) are: Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, MGM Grand, New York New York, Venetian, Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, Treasure Island, and the Wynn. You can hit up Stratosphere, Monte Carlo, Paris, and any other casino you feel like walking into but definitely check out the earlier mentioned.

The Shows. Now it has been a while since I've seen some of these but they should still be good. Blue Man Group (Luxor), Carrot Top (I think he's now at the Luxor), Tournament of Kings (Excalibur). "O" (Bellagio), Cher (Caesar's), the free show outside of Treasure Island, the free show outside of the Bellagio (they never play the same one twice), and any other show that floats your boat.

The buffets. The Village seafood buffet (Rio), The World Carnival buffet (Rio), The Buffet (Bellagio), and I don't know if you'll still be hungry for anything else.

Traveling tips.
1) Don't try to walk the entire strip. It is deceptively large. You'll probably pass out half way through, and then you have to walk back.
2) Try to go where the locals go. Most people who live in Las Vegas rarely go to The Strip and if they feel the need to gamble they go to local casinos. If you know a native, ask him or her to act as a tour guide. Locals also get discounts to most things in Las Vegas which they can share with you.
3) Prepare a plan of attack so that you can make the most of your time in the city because there is no way you can see and do everything.
4) Set a gambling limit. I've heard horror stories about what happens to people who say "Just one more quarter. Just one more hand. Just one more pull. Just another roll. etcetera." After you reach that limit, STOP! NO MORE! The house always wins. Las Vegas isn't nicknamed "Lost Wages" for nothing.
5) Have fun! And come back soon. ;-)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Photostory assignment.

Today in my English class, we each presented videos we'd created on each our research topics. Mine of course was on Sherlock Holmes. I found each of the presentations to be rather interesting and unique. I put the video that I created on this post. Let me know what you think.

How Sherlock connects to rhetoric: He changed the way people viewed logic, inspired other writers to create other mysteries featuring himself, and created a new wave of forensic sciences. 1) He changed the way that people thought about logic by using it to solve crimes. Those who've analyzed his methods believe that he uniquely merged the reasonings of Descartes, De Morgan, Darwin, and other mathematicians and philosophers to come up with a brand new way of looking at the world. 2) Other mysteries featuring himself can be found published by GREAT authors such as Laurie R. King and Anne Perry, while also being featured many times by unknown authors. Click here for some fanfiction writings featuring Sherlock. 3) Forensics because he was one of the first to start looking at the small stuff. He memorized dirt samples from all over London so if dirt was found at a crime scene he'd know where everyone had been by the dirt on the floor and on their shoes. He did the same for tobacco ashes memorizing over 140 different types. He looked at fingerprints, ballistics, blood spatter, and anything else that made an impression on him or seemed out of place. (London police didn't really do any of that before Sherlock.)

If you wish to view a guest blog that I posted on please visit here. I think that blogging has enhanced my experience in this class because the internet makes things smaller. This way, I was able to view everyone else's blogs and learn about their topics. Anyways enjoy the video.