March 7, 2009
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From this morning’s Baltimore Sun:

Delegate’s personal plea for death penalty

Why he thinks the death penalty should be continued:
“I think God has given us leeway to decide things like that,” the delegate said.

I don’t know what to say — except people that truly think things like this this should not be in positions of power. I am becoming increasingly disgusted with Americans who continue to think this way and spout violent dribble like this. That’s all for now.


Posted in Death, Law, Maryland

Fat in Baltimore

November 24, 2007
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It was wonderfully crisp outside today, these past few days (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Recovery Saturday) have sort of ushered in the holiday season. I am not really into Christmas decorations, and I think the reason is because I believe that are too much work for what they are worth. Is that laziness or does this show some kind of intelligence for not being easily entertained by patterns of light?

So anyway, this season leads to tremendous amounts of eating, and I am making a concerted effort to control the amount of food going down my gullet. I broke my self-imposed calorie limit of 1,596 today because I was tricked into going to California Pizza Kitchen in the inner harbor. It’s okay though, I am within the healthy range of the much disputed BMI, even though I still feel fat. I want to reach the lower end of the BMI, so I’ve been exercising and controlling the amount of food that I eat. Don’t want Type II, cardiovascular problems, or cancer.

So even if I am not considered obese, 25.8% of the residents in Baltimore are obese, and we are tied for 13th with Nashville. Forbes discusses what each city is trying to do to curb their high levels of obesity, which again, to be fair, are based off of being above a BMI of 30. And we’ve all heard about BMI’s failure to discriminate healthy individuals from morbidly obese ones.

Issues like safety, poverty and food access have contributed to the obesity rate in Baltimore, which edged to 25.8% last year, a slight increase from 2005. Various groups, including the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance and the Baltimore Neighborhood Research Consortium, are leading efforts to understand what aspects of neighborhood planning best contribute to healthy communities.

Well, at least there is a program. I am starting to respect Baltimore more for at least trying to do something (hooray). If you’re out by the Beltway, you do not really hear about the efforts Baltimore is making to turn around. It is stunning how little the public knows about nutrition and exercise, but I am not so surprised since even people with terminal degrees in their fields can not know a single thing about what they are supposed to put in their bodies. Other cities are implementing programs, and one part of L.A. is even going as far to limit the number of restaurants in a certain area to stem the tide of obesity. I do not think that this plan will work very well since L.A. is the prime example of unwalkability — people will just drive a couple of minutes further to get the specific type of life-threatening meal that they desire, the trick is to educate them enough so they feel guilty about frequenting such places.

Posted in Baltimore, Maryland
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PG County is fashionably ushering in a new era of public health

November 19, 2007
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“The goal is to get the kids in school”

So in D.C.’s backyard, Prince George’s County, my birthplace, there was some controversy after a circuit court judge sent a letter to the parents of 2,300 children demanding that they they produce records that their children have been vaccinated or face fines and up to ten days in jail.

This is not like this is Gardasil (the HPV vaccine) in which (unfortunately) parents in the United States believe that it will give their daughters license to fuck at will. It’s chickenpox and Hepatitis B. People trying to ride on the public immunity that the rest of the public has from actually getting vaccinations are endangering their children. How? For instance, if they contract chickenpox as an adult which is much more likely to cause complications, or somehow contract hepatitis B — whether from intravenous drug use or having sex with someone who is infected. These people are afraid of something where the risk of harm is extremely low.

People have been confusedly blubbering and complaining, “where in the constitution does it say you can force a needle in my poor child’s arm?” Methinks it’s the 10th amendment, and maybe a small treatise of laws regarding public health –IANAL so do not quote me on that. I doubt that most of the parents are anti-vaccinationists. The Washington Post had another article yesterday detailing Saturday’s mad rush to the courthouse to get vaccinations or show proof that their children had already obtained them. It seems that much of the cause of frustration was the paperwork. Parents felt like they were being accused of poor parenting, the works. Whatever the case, they reduced the number of unvaccinated students to 939 — a big improvement. I vote yea to this scare tactic. Now that PG’s got the students in their chickenpox and Hep B free schools, the county should be obligated to do better work in educating these students. We do not have a vaccine for poor SAT scores and high dropout rates.

My pledge to not follow Terrapin sports for at least the next thirty years

November 11, 2007
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I never really understood the alumni connection to a university. I’m probably just very jaded, and maybe I will come to regret this pledge. I was a Biochemistry major stretched too thin, and the the unfortunate circumstances of 2003-2007 did nothing to activate my love of Maryland football and basketball. and perhaps I will have to duel myself to regain my honor, haha.

Anyway, I don’t care. Even if my future wife is an enormous fan, she will understand that I do not give a damn.

It’s more than just being a person tinctured with venomous hate for his own alma mater, though. The NCAA has created a system of whackiness like the BCS and the way that money gets distributed to the coaches that perhaps I will expound upon when I feel a bit less lazy. Most of my dislike for it has to deal with the fact that it is such a weird reason to get young adults to attend a school. It’s also a weird way of allowing students to get a free ride. The only plausible argument is that it works to build community, which is dubious because of the high number of schools that seem to do fine without sports every which way. For students to pin all of their hopes in these athlete-student (99% athlete) hybrids is a little sick. We’ll fix this problem America.