Obama Wins The Nobel Peace Prize

⊆ 8:53:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 2 responses »

Wait. What?

You heard right folks. President Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, official as of this morning.

And all I have to say is... What the hell ass?

All Winners
Look at the list. Really look at it. Look me in the eye and tell me that he has done ANYTHING that compares in the slightest to the works of Red Cross, or Physicists Against Nuclear War. Seriously? He hasn't -done- anything yet. He may have some lofty goals, and some interesting ideas, but he hasn't DONE _ANY_ of it yet. I mean hell, if you are giving out awards for people with grand ambitions now, why wasn't I considered? I have some amazing plans that could really turn this planet around!

Ugh! Political pandering. Attempting to get attention from people who have largely ignored the Nobel Committee. That is ALL that this is.

Let's see.
He has:
- planned for troop removal from Iraq (no action taken)
- closed Guantanamo bay (good move In My Opinion)
- attempted to start legislation to curb greenhouse emissions (stalled in Senate and House)
- attempted to undo damage done to Chinese/America and Russia/America relations (awaiting results)
- Middle East Outreach (largely rejected by countries such as Iran; accepted by places like Egypt)
- Health Care Reform (largely stalled in House and Senate).

Honestly folks. You shouldn't be getting a Nobel Peace Prize for best effort or grand ambitions.

If your works and efforts have been successful, have changed the world for the better, or made a huge impact, then congratulations.

Obama did not deserve this. He has not done anything (yet) to deserve it.

-M, punching out

 

Random Link

⊆ 2:58:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 4 responses »

http://survivingtheworld.net/Lesson451.html

 

Feeling Guilty

⊆ 11:46:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 3 responses »

Did a programming project for work, and gave them exactly what they asked for. Gave them a month to test it and request new features before getting it put up live.

Now it's live and they want new, different features. It is the semester and I have almost no time to do any coding except the weekends, my precious little time off.

What should I do? :|

My initial inclination is to say "eff you, I do not have the time right now to add features that you want when you had a month to do testing and did none.".

However, the part of me that strives to be a good employee says "goddamnit fine, I wasn't planning on doing anything this weekend anyways."

Suggestions? =\

 

What A Day, Hope The Week Is Better!

⊆ 7:45:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 2 responses »

So. Marvelous stuff abounds.

I went to work this morning, walked back to my car at 2:00pm and found, glory be, a wonderful dent in my wheel well. It's about 3/4 of the length of a dollar, and about the height of a dollar, and about 4 or 5 nickels width's thick. ... Sigh. No note again. No nothing. I really hate people sometimes. =(

Then, on the way back to my apartment afterward, a guy on a crotch-rocket motorcycle tried to take the right turn onto Huntington St. from Easton Ave. too fast (trying to beat the red light) and ended up sliding around the turn, fell off his bike and sliding towards my car. His bike missed my car, thank god, and he slid into my door. No damage nor dents from that thankfully. He got right up, I helped him move his bike to the side of the road, he said he was OK. His bike wouldn't start though. Sucks for him.

Photos to follow:







 

Thought For Today

⊆ 3:26:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 2 responses »

Don't you realize, I won't compromise. We never hesitate. Pushing beyond the limits of ourselves. This body is just a cage. We're loosing our minds. And that's just fine.

 

547:202: Blog 03 (9/21/2009)

⊆ 10:30:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 2 responses »

Week 3 was a pretty good week in comparison to the first two weeks. I found that the number of examples given on Monday was a little on the lighter side, especially when compared to the number given on Wednesday. To be honest, I would prefer more specific examples and explore-the-code type of things. That is truly how I have learned how to program in the few programming languages that I understand. I will openly admit that the Java Debugger in Eclipse is an amazing tool that I wish they had told us about in 198:111. However, the mentality in 198:111 is that you should never use anything beyond a text editor and a Java compiler to program. I am glad to see that this is not the case in this class. I do not know how much work we are going to be doing with the switch function, but I think I would like to see a real example completed in class (preferably alongside use of the debugger, so we can watch what actually happens). The practice slides at the end of each Power Point are extremely useful. They are simple enough to understand what they are doing and yet still useful because they are concrete examples.

As for things which I did not enjoy for week 3, I do not particularly see a need for “Heroes Of The Day”. I am more than willing to accept the importance of the figures presented, but I do not think dedicating more than a passing 5-10 minutes a class on them is a good idea, given the narrow constraints of time that we have. While I found Wednesday to be the more engaging of the two classes last week (particularly due to the actual programming involved), I wish we had actually had some time to break into our groups and discuss our projects. I have little time outside of class which is available to me to assist on projects, and need the time in class to know where we are heading and what we plan on doing. I am also still waiting to hear back on when the date of the first assignment (the flashcards) will be due. I was glad to get confirmation on the information about space and enter being used to advance the program as opposed to just hitting space.

There are still a few things I am looking forward to hearing about. In particular more information about string manipulation (concatenation, substrings, etc) would be appreciated. Mentioning the .equals() function for strings was very important and I am glad that you touched base about it early on in the class.

I also think that having people who have the program or example up and running is an excellent way to get the class up and moving, while simultaneously allowing students to get to know each other better and freeing yourself up to continue talking or giving out additional information.

My only real question for right now is simply: What will happen with the blog postings? Do they get graded? Or do they merely count towards some sort of participation count? I ask because I have been posting them as asked, but there is really no way to tell if you have noticed that it is up, or commented on it in any way. I just want to make sure that my posts are not getting missed!

 

On Paperless Billing

⊆ 2:27:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 4 responses »

I don't know about you, but I am really getting tired of my banks and credit card companies requesting that I switch to paperless billing. I get, on average, 4 emails a month from five separate entities, each saying I should switch to the marvels of paperless billing. I also get a notice in each of their mailings that I could switch to paperless billing and help the environment.

Fess up companies. You do NOT give a shit about the environment. You don't care about the trees you'll save from being cut down. You don't care about the chemicals being saved from the production of ink. You don't even care about the glue used on the stamps. What you do care about, is the money you save.

My average bill contains, at most, $1.50 in consumables, including the cost of postage. I get 12 of those a year, per company. That's a whopping $6 a year they save by not having to send me a paper statement. Conservatively say each company has 10-20 million customers who receive these bills. That is anywhere from $60-$120 million a year they save. That, my friends, is a not insignificant number.

However, and this is important here, what is the benefit to the consumer? They push pro-environmentalism. I say, give me incentive. You are saving $1.50. Split the difference. Give me $.75 off whatever bill I'm paying. You still make $30-$60 million a year and I get a little something-something too.

This is the way to induce change. T-Mobile (Story Here: http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/09/09/16/181231/T-Mobile-Backs-Off-Plan-To-Charge-150-For-Paper-Bills ) had it completely backwards. Charging people MORE money (when it is already in the cost of their bill) is going to piss people off.

Time for common sense people. If you want to save your company money, try and find ways to do it that do not annoy the consumer. The last thing you want is a pissed off consumer.

-M, out

 

2009 MTV VMAs

⊆ 7:30:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 3 responses »

Ok. I really hate to go into this, and I in fact sat on it for most of the night debating if I wanted to post anything about it. I hate mindlessly reporting on crap that is mostly irrelevant, and let's be realistic here people, the 2009 MTV VMA's are just about as irrelevant to my day-to-day existence as can be. That being said however, who the fuck do you think you are Kanye?

Oh wait, I know exactly who you are. It's all in the name of his website: Kanye Universcity. From last night we can tell this: Kanye lives in his own little world. A world where he is king of the castle and we are all his subjects. And let's be honest now folks. I enjoyed some of his music (specifically Stronger, which made me smile a geek smile). However, most, if not all of it, is auto-tunned crap. Utter, complete, total, crap. But he's got money. And he's a dick. So MTV loves him. Kanye is the poster child for what is wrong with the music industry. No interest in creating any GOOD, NEW material. Instead focused on the cheapest, fastest, easiest way to make money: remixing and dubbing over famous previous tasks. These are new tracks of his own design of course. But he is not doing anything ground breaking here. He is selfish, full of himself, and out for nothing but money. That is in fact what is wrong with Kanye and most of the music industry as it stands.

Last night was a pure example of it. Walking up on stage, and proclaiming that Beyonce's video was the best video of all time may not have been the worst thing to do in another situation. But Taylor Swift is 19 years old. Nineteen. This is her first award ever. She is sitting there, all excited to be around all these people applauding her (even the people she won against) and Kanye comes up and steals the light. To quote Taylor Swift, "I was standing onstage and I was really excited because I had just won an award and then I was really excited because Kanye West was on the stage. And then, um, I wasn't so excited anymore after that." ... Of course not. It was blatant disrespect. But, in a dignified fashion, Taylor Swift held on through the night, and even played a song soon after. Class act.

Speaking of class acts, let's talk about 3 other people. First, I mention of course, Beyonce. Beyonce is a class act to start with. I love her music. She is a truly an amazing artist. But then to offer Taylor Swift a chance to complete her original acceptance speech? It makes me smile. Beyonce is an example of what is good from the music industry. She gets nothing but the best regards.

Next I speak of Pink, whom, sorry folks, I won't be calling classy any time soon. However, Pink was noted as saying "Kanye West is the biggest piece of sh-- on earth. Quote me." on Twitter. Truth. I also hear rumors that she was seen needing to be held away from Kanye later that night. I cannot vouch for the truth of this, as it is just a rumor as far as I know. But even still, power to Pink. Bad ass and awesome at the same time.

Next of course, was Katy Perry. I think she summed it up the best: "F--- u Kanye. It's like you stepped on a kitten." Yeah. I think that about sums it up.

And the response to this, as to why Kanye did it? Apparently he was drinking. Like that makes it all better. Seriously folks. He does this ALL the time. His first year at the VMA's he flipped out, screaming that he was the best new artist of the year and should have won, and this and that. Furthermore, 2 years later he screamed about losing because his video cost a million and had Pamela Anderson in it. Seriously. Get over yourself.

Congratulations to Taylor Swift and everyone else who won a VMA. Kanye, please go disappear and never come back. If I hear your songs on the radio, I will change the station. I deleted your music from my PC. You are a miserable, sad, strange little man.

You have my pity.

 

547:202 Blog 02 (9/13/2009)

⊆ 7:41:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 1 responses »

After another week, we’re finally starting to get into some Java programming. We learned about the basics of almost all Java applications, specifically the naming conventions for the class files and the main function, public static void main(String[] args). We also learned about the basics of variables and which ones we would be using primarily throughout the course.

On my own I rediscovered one of the banes of my original Java programming endeavors, the dreaded String class and the ways to make comparisons. I spent a good 30 minutes trying to get a simple application to work, basically a loop until certain input is received. Basically it was a do-while loop that kept asking for (and repeating back) input until it receives /x. Basically, I set a BOOL variable, exit to false. While exit is false, keep getting input, checking if the input is /x, and then outputting the input if it was not /x. When it becomes /x, exit gets set to true, and the program exits out. The difficulty came from forgetting that if you have a string a (that you defined), and a string b (which is input), and want to check if they are equivalent, you cannot simply do a == b. This will always return false, since a and b are not the same object nor do they reference the same location in memory. You must reference the String class function equals, by either doing a.equals(b) or b.equals(a). This will return true if a and b are equivalent. This was very frustrating because in every other language I program in (Python and PHP primarily) you can simply do a == b to check equivalence for everything.

As for next week, I am hoping to see some slightly more complex Java applications and learn how they work and how to write them. I know we won’t be getting into things as complex as arrays, pointers, and things of that nature just yet, but I am kind of excited to get there sooner rather than later.

I also had a brief thought about the assignment we’re doing in our groups. Does the professor want us to make it wait for space as input and then proceed to the next group of text for the flash card program? I do not know how (or even if Java is capable of doing this) to make a Java program wait for a keypress, unless the keypress is specifically enter. The Scanner class always waits for enter before continuing forward, so I will have to ask about this on Monday.

 

Thought of the moment

⊆ 11:30:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

"The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." -Bertrand Russell

Simplicity. The first step is knowing where you are going.

 

547:202 Blog 01 (9/6/2009)

⊆ 6:36:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

Required Blog Posting for 547:202:

Before coming to the first lecture on Wednesday I was definitely nervous about taking this course on the sole basis of the fact that I have not worked with Java in any extent since my 198:111 class in Fall of 2002. However, after speaking with Professor Marshall about it, he seemed to indicate that I would be ahead of the game due to having some exposure to Java and having done some Python and PHP programming. This was a great relief as not taking this class this semester would cause my entire class schedule to get severely discombobulated. This is my 2nd degree at Rutgers and I am following a very guided and planned out class schedule and 547:202 is a major pre-requisite for several classes in the ITI department. The professor and teaching assistant (aid? I don’t think we ever finally pinned down her exact designation come to think of it) both seem very laid-back and easy to work with. However, even though they seem laid-back I think that the class will be very thorough and in-depth on the basis of the scope of the material. Even though Professor Marshall indicated that we wouldn’t be doing many (if any) particularly lengthy code projects or assignments I still expect a level of complexity - that is just how computer programming can get.

The exercise to create directions to get from the X in the center of the room to one of the doorways was very eye-opening in light of the fact that one of my recent code projects for Rutgers University Campus Computing Facilities was released on the very same day and people were finding very random ways to break it that I had never thought about. Needless to say, that brief lesson has already proven to be very useful.

I am looking forward to learning more about Object Oriented Programming because Python (the language which I am currently using and trying to get very familiar with because it is becoming more widespread) seems to be very customizable and very modifiable. I am sure using Objects instead of repeating segments of code would be a far more efficient and less cycle-heavy.

As for the books, if I had to sum them up in one word it would be this: expensive. If I had to sum them up in a quick phrase it would be this: expensive but probably useful. I have read books similar to these for ASP, Python, and PHP and they have proven invaluable to the point of earning a permanent place on my bookshelf at home. While the up-front cost was tremendously high, I can see using these books for a long time so I will consider it an investment for now.

As for what I would like to see in the coming weeks, it is very simple. I would like to (and in fact need to) see a refresher on Java programming. I have downloaded and installed Eclipse on my laptop and gotten it up and running – I have written a few programs and it is slow going because I keep forgetting that types need to be assigned to variables in Java (they do not in PHP or Python). I am also trying to force myself to remember some of the standard commands from Java (System.out.println(variable) for example - which is difficult again coming from Python [where it is print(variable)] and PHP [where it is echo(variable)]).

-M, out

 

My Week So Far

⊆ 1:05:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

Hurrah! Mondays are the best!

I went to work at 9:30am, and parked in my usual spot. I went back out at 9:45am (I forgot my lunch in the car) and noticed the front end was all scratched up, paint missing, etc. I think the person who parked next to me hit me as they were pulling out.

I think the most upsetting thing is, they didn't even leave an apology note! The one time I backed into another person's car was at 12:00am a few months back... I so could have just pulled away and no one would have ever been the wiser. But no, I left a note, and ended up paying close to 1400$ in repairs. But nooooooo, of course when it happens to me, nobody is decent about it.

bleh. Fuck this week.

-M, out.

 

My Day So Far

⊆ 2:39:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

So, here's been my day so far:

Wake up at 10:00am to try and fill my low tire (my car says TIRE PRESSURE LOW!!!111one!!). It's at 22 PSI, other tires are at 32 PSI. My pump won't pressurize above 28 PSI. GG. I go to STS and they take my tire down. It has three gigantic nails in it, and a gash about 3 inches long in it as well. STS people say I'm lucky the tire didnt rupture while being driven. Yippee. $150 down the tubes for replacement tire, installation, and work. HURRAY FOR ME

So I get to work on time (miraculously, after getting my tire changed and returning the crappy pump to Kmart) and I proceed to call Rutgers Financial Aid office to figure out why I haven't received any financial aid this year.

Why? Anyone care to guess?

No...?

Ok, well apparently 12 credits of A's (4.0 GPA) isn't "Acceptable Academic Progress" according to Rutgers. In short? I get no money this year. They're sending me a letter to challenge the award being declined, but the vibe I got from the Financial Aid office was "tough luck".

Also, it's raining. Hu-fucking-rray.

So... What a great day this has been.

Fuck this shit.

 

The Dutch

⊆ 5:34:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

Link

So. The Dutch wanted to make it a law that requires any ISP subscriber to pay (via a tax) for newspapers in order to keep them in business. Even though I am not Dutch, I am a very large internet user, and let me say, my god I am glad the Dutch Minister knew to say NO to that kind of stupidity. I mean seriously, I appreciate the printed word as much as the next chap (probably more so, the next chap just reads everything online now probably.

Seriously though, why should everyone have to pay for something that not everyone uses. It's not like air people. Everyone uses air, and thus everyone pays for air (if you think you don't, check into your taxes and see how much goes to environmental protection and what not).

Newspapers, magazines, and the printed word in general are in trouble. Why? They didn't keep up with the times. Some are catching up, I don't remember the one in particular, but they are offering free access to the premium access of their website when you subscribe to the hard copy of the paper. That's how it SHOULD be. And the online viewer shouldn't be punished for the lack of hard copy viewers. If anything, you should be thankful for their business.

It's like the news companies complaining about how Google isn't helping them out enough or not paying the newspaper for the content they supposedly steal.

I hate to break it to you old-world style journalists, but the Internet can only help you - if you know how to use it. If you don't know how to use it (and don't bother learning) or don't want to use it, don't expect the world to change for you. That's not the way it works.

Just as the music/movie industry must adapt their industry to face changes in the market, so must the news industry. They still have time to do so. Or maybe they'll just give up and start suing people like the RIAA/MPAA have decided to do.

I don't get it really, why do industry exec's expect the world's progress to STOP in favor of their narrow (and misguided!) views of the how we should view content.

ARG.

-M, punching out.

 

The State of the USA

⊆ 8:17:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

We as a whole *really* need to get caught up. Recently a bill was entered into Congress regarding healthcare. PDF full text

Let's analyze this just a little bit.

If the Congress and the PolitBureau really wanted to pay for hospital services, they would pay the "going rate" of hospitals. Instead, they pay $36 for a $500 procedure, causing hospitals to charge $8 for aspirin. Congress is WHY the system is broken, not the cure.

The plan is to crush as many industries as possible with legislation, then arrive as if uninvolved and claim "Capitalism did this!" and "We need more regulation! This is exactly what is happening with the car companies right now. The government is taking them over, but honestly, what does the government know about running a car company?

Then, the Fed, despite the strict outlines in the Constitution, controls everything in exactly the same way as Communist governments. (Where life universally SUCKS.) Truly. The Government should not be having control over the general populace or industries in the country.

But the way we are heading, it is just a means to secure control. Banking, Mortgages, Car manufacturing, everything but Hollywood is getting a "bailout" and then finding themselves so bound to do the WRONG thing, they don't want it. It's instead a "BUY OUT". They don't have a choice. Except for going out of business

These are the end-times for the America of freedom. And in the next world war, there will be no one to save France, Belgium, Luxemburg, and all the other countries we've saved twice in the last two. The end of choice being: required to have health care. Not being able to purchase a vehicle we want and can afford because it might be dangerous in some way. Anything. ANY restriction is a restriction on my freedom to choose. And as such, that is completely unacceptable.

The problem with Republicans is that they're not Conservative; McCain and Obama had nothing on which to disagree- both loved the idea of central control, sweeping the Constition under the rug, and consolidating power.

Sorry, but this is where we stand. Thank the media, on our way to hell.

 

End of Semester Report

⊆ 1:33:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

Grades confirmed as of 5/15. Woot!

189:101 - 89.5/100 - Final Grade: Rounded up to A
-- Exam 1: 83% (25 points)
-- Exam 2: 83% (25 points)
-- Exam 3: 95% (28.5 points)
-- Participation: 10/10 (10 points)
-- Extra Credit: 1/1 (1 points)

189:103 - 92.15/100 - Final Grade: Rounded up to A
--Analysis Paper: 9.25/10
--Bibliography: 5/5
--Briefing Paper: 13/15
--Midterm: 92/100
--Online Discussion 1: 5/5
--Online Discussion 2: 5/5
--Participation: 10/10
--Quiz 1: 5/5
--Quiz 2: 3.5/5
--Final: 72/80

547:111 - 94.5/100 - Final Graded: Rounded up to A
--Exam 1: 210/190 (A)
--Exam 2: 480/520 (A)
--Exam 3: 210/240 (A)
--Term Paper: 100% (A)
--Homework: 84% (B)
--Participation: 100% (A)

547:200 - 99/100 - Final Grade: Rounded up to A
--Presentation: 25/25
--Debate: 29/30
--Story Final Project: 35/35
--Participation: 10/10

So... About that... My first A at Rutgers and it's 4 of them. I think I might just make Dean's list. :o

-M, punching out!

 

Star Trek

⊆ 9:40:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

...
...
...
I don't even know where to begin. I don't want to spoil details of the plot so I won't reveal any details until next Friday (I am giving you a WEEK to go see it. Next week, all bets are off.

Suffice it to say... Star Trek is back. And I think it's better than ever.

Seeing the Enterprise in epic glory... With music that is an homage to the original series and movies...

I just... can't begin to describe it.

Go see it.
Now.
Buy the DVD. Buy the Blue Ray. Tell them... No, show them that THIS is what Star Trek is about.

Good luck, and Live Long and Prosper.

-M, punching out.

 

Windows 7...

⊆ 12:56:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

Will be Microsoft's saving grace.

I don't know if you have had the opportunity to work with it yet, but if you have the opportunity (and time) to get it (it will be publicly available on the first Tuesday of May) I wholly recommend it.

It is incredibly simple to use and very friendly.

It even works on my ancient laptop (not even mediocre working, it is fully working).

I will post pictures and further updates once I have more time to tinker around with it...

Suffice it to say, this is what Vista SHOULD have been.

I'm glad they woke up finally.

 

Grades So Far

⊆ 10:42:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

ITI200 (Major Req):
- Presentation: 25/25
- Debate: 29/30
- Story: 35/35
- Participation: ?/?
-- Overall: Expected A.

ITI111 (Major Req):
- Exam 1: 200/190
- Exam 2: 520/540
- Paper: 240/240
- Exam 3: ?/? (That's today!)
-- Overall: Expected A.

ITI103 (Major Req):
- Exam 1: 92/100
- Quiz 1: 5/5
- Quiz 2: 3.5/5
- Briefing Paper: 13/15
- Analysis Paper: 9.25/10
- Bibliography: 5/5
- Online Discussion 1: 5/5
- Online Discussion 2: 5/5
- Final Exam: ?/?
-- Overall: Expected B+/A

189:101 (Major Pre-Req):
Exam 1: 25/30 (83%)
Exam 2: 25/30 (83%)
Exam 3: ?/?
Extra Credit: 1/1
iClicker: 22/22
-- Overall: Expected B/B+

Well shit. That's a damn good semester imho.

 

Master of One (Or Maybe Two)

⊆ 9:19:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 1 responses »

Maybe I'm just confused. Rutgers recently decided that incoming freshman in the Honors program would be required to take 4 semesters (2 years) of a foreign language, and that incoming normal freshman would be required to take 2 semesters (1 year) of a foreign language.

Now this just seems plain silly. Yes, yes I know, American's are woefully inadequate when it comes to understanding other cultures, and this and that and the other thing... But my major problem with that revolves around three major points: first, when people go to College they generally have an idea of what they want to pursue; forcing them to 'spread their wings' so to speak is a contrived notion that only results in one thing: more money for the college itself. Most people don't really pay attention to their non-major/minor classes, and why should they? They aren't important to their future! Second, half the time College students are not even proficient in English. Go into a freshman level Expos class and you'll see what I mean. I have proofread papers that had internet shorthand (lol, tbqh, and the like) strewn about it. It's ridiculous! Third and finally, yes, I concede the fact that Americans are largely ignorant of other cultures, but, and I hate to break it to you, we live in America. 90% (why isn't this 100%? --- we don't require that all people coming into the country speak decent English? Wait... what?) of Americans speak English. And a good percentage of Americans will never go to another country and need to speak their language. So, why should we have to learn it?

I don't expect other countries to learn my language (unless they plan on coming here) and I do expect to be left to learn what I consider important to my further life plans. Knowing how to speak Spanish is irrelevant to me - and no, I do not see it coming up in my future life plans (performing technical work in an IT organization) because, guess what? They're going to be speaking English too!

So honestly. Why is it a REQUIREMENT?

Shouldn't we require people to become proficient in things which they WILL use in every day life (such as Math?)? Hell, if you want to use the argument that we should study other cultures, I make the counter argument that many Americans do not even know our own culture anymore. Let's focus on these problems before we attempt to broaden our own horizons.

I didn't go to college to become a well-rounded scholar. I went to college to get a grip on the skills which I will need to become successful in my future career. I do not buy into the crap about being well rounded. I do not want to be a jack of all trades.

I want to be the master of one (or maybe two).

-M, punching out.

 

Song of the Moment (April Version)

⊆ 11:05:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

Artist: Fort Minor
Song: Remember the Name

You ready?! Let's go!
Yeah, for those of you that want to know what we're all about
It's like this y'all. C'mon!

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

Mike! - He doesn't need his name up in lights
He just wants to be heard whether it's the beat or the mic
He feels so unlike everybody else, alone
In spite of the fact that some people still think that they know him
But fuck em, he knows the code
It's not about the salary
It's all about reality and making some noise
Making the story - making sure his clique stays up
That means when he puts it down Tak's picking it up! Let's go!

Who the hell is he anyway?
He never really talks much
Never concerned with status but still leaving them star struck
Humbled through opportunities given despite the fact
That many misjudge him because he makes a living from writing raps
Put it together himself, now the picture connects
Never asking for someone's help, or to get some respect
He's only focused on what he wrote, his will is beyond reach
And now it all unfolds, the skill of an artist

This is twenty percent skill
Eighty percent fear
Be a hundred percent clear cause Ryu is ill
Who would've thought that he'd be the one to set the west in flames
And I heard him wreck it with The Crystal Method, "Name Of The Game"
Came back dropped Megadef, took em to church
I like bleach man, why you had the stupidest verse?
This dude is the truth, now everybody's giving him guest spots
His stock's through the roof I heard he's fuckin' with S. Dot!

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

They call him Ryu, he's sick
And he's spitting fire
And mike got him out the dryer he's hot
Found him in Fort Minor with Tak
What a fuckin' nihilist porcupine
He's a prick, he's a cock
The type woman want to be with, and rappers hope he get shot
Eight years in the making, patiently waiting to blow
Now the record with Shinoda's taking over the globe
He's got a partner in crime, his shit is equally dope
You wont believe the kind of shit that comes out of this kid's throat

Tak! - He's not your everyday on the block
He knows how to work with what he's got
Making his way to the top
He often gets a comment on his name
People keep asking him was it given at birth
Or does it stand for an acronym?
No he's living proof, got him rocking the booth
He'll get you buzzing quicker than a shot of vodka with juice
Him and his crew are known around as one of the best
Dedicated to what they do and give a hundred percent

Forget Mike - Nobody really knows how or why he works so hard
It seems like he's never got time
Because he writes every note and he writes every line
And I've seen him at work when that light goes on in his mind
It's like a design is written in his head every time
Before he even touches a key or speaks in a rhyme
And those motherfuckers he runs with,
The kids that he signed?
Ridiculous, without even trying,
How do they do it?!

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

Yeah! Fort Minor
M. Shinoda - Styles of Beyond
Ryu! Takbir! Machine Shop!

 

Clothes

⊆ 5:26:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

So I went looking for a sports jacket type dealie (after going to Jean's friend Leah's Swwet-16 (picture on facebook if you so desire) and seeing a bunch of highschoolers wearing them and finally realizing it's time to buy one.

I went to Burlington Coat Factory and saw a nice one from Adolfo (I kid you not, that is the name) for 175$. I told the tailor that I would probably come back in a few weeks with enough cash to purchase one. We promptly left. We then went to Men's Wearhouse and found a few more for, again, 175$. I told the tailor there (who was very nice I may add) that I would probably return there as well.

Then we came across a store called Casual Male XL. We went in, thinking it would be jeans and what not. Imagine my surprise when I find some nice sports coats there as well. They had a nice black one (with admittedly gaudy golden buttons - which I will probably end up replacing) for 175$ and 50% off. I say, why not, I can afford 90$ for a nice coat.

I bring it up to the front, and they ring it up as, get this, 43.75$. I was like woah. So yeah. I will take some pictures of it later. You'll probably see me wearing it at some point too. haha

-M, punching out.

 

Testing and Updates

⊆ 8:07:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

Made some minor site changes (bet you won't even notice haha), so I'm just testing to find out if it's working.

As some updates, first with classes.
Social Informatics: First project returned, 25/25
Internet & Info Environments: First exam returned, 200/190 (I owned that exam)
Intro to Communication: First exam returned, 25/30 (wewt)
Intro to Information Tech: First exam done, not yet returned. First essay done, not yet returned. 5/5 on first quiz and biblio.

So, long story short, I'm having a very good semester!

Things are looking up for a nice change. Spring break is coming up very quickly and I can't wait to see what else can happen.

My new computer is elite. It's absolutely amazing, running Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 Beta, and Ubuntu. They all play along rather nicely actually.

I've gotten the parts for my helicopter but it still doesn't work 100%. :( For those that do not know, I'm very info models (rockets, planes, helicopters, boats, etc) but have all of a sudden broken into the RC scene. It's very fun and awesome to see the things take off and (hopefully!) land in one piece.

That's all for now.

Ta!
-M

 

These are photos of my new desktop!

⊆ 6:28:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 2 responses »

These are photos of my new desktop!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Visit MASantangelo's (my) ImageShack profile

QuickPost Quickpost these images to Myspace, Digg, Facebook, and others!

 

Status Updates

⊆ 11:01:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

Ok people, we have a lot of ground to cover. So let's get started, shall we?

I have deleted my facebook account. Why you may ask? "Facebook's terms of service (TOS) used to say that when you closed an account on their network, any rights they claimed to the original content you uploaded would expire. Not anymore. Now, anything you upload to Facebook can be used by Facebook in any way they deem fit, forever, no matter what you do later. Want to close your account? Good for you, but Facebook still has the right to do whatever it wants with your old content. They can even sublicense it if they want." (Chris Walters, Linky). The best part is the current Terms of Service include a provision stating that facebook does NOT need to notify you or have you agree whenever they update their Terms of Service. Guess what, you've sold your soul to Facebook. Congratulations! Sorry facebook, but that's not cool in my book, and the only way I can think of to deal with it and show an appropriate response is to nuke my account completely. Goodbye! If anyone needs to get in touch with me, you can hit me up on AIM: MASantangelo8.

Also, for those who may have missed the facebook notification, I'm officially in a relationship with an awesome girl named Jean. If you haven't met her yet, let me know and maybe we can grab a bite together and I can introduce you.

In addition, to that good news, classes are going very well. The material is fun, interesting, and as a whole not too bad to do. Midterms are starting soon, but I feel pretty confident that I will do well with them. I have lots of papers to write, but I've already finished writing one, so things are going pretty well overall!

On another note, I have finally gotten around to ordering parts for a new computer. I will be posting specs and pictures of it soon, so keep an eye out!

Finally, work is going pretty well even though hiring is about to start and that makes things hectic. So, here's hoping that they go well.

More updates to follow, I promise. But for now I need to go finish another load of laundry and tidy up. My first afternoon class tomorrow (4:30-5:50pm) got canceled so I will be sitting around and reading for most of the afternoon.

 

:)

⊆ 10:56:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

I just wanted to thank all my friends and family who sent me birthday wishes this week and weekend. It really made my week, and after the depression of realizing I'm back in classes I really needed a pick me up.

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate it. :D

-M, punching out

-
Suppose you were to die tonight...
What would you say...?

In the chill of the night
I can feel my heart racing
As I run towards the light
That seems so far away
Wandering forever
In the darkest of shadows
Wondering if I will ever see you again

Wondering if I will ever see you again

I'll take your love
I'll take your love
I'll take your hate
Take your hate
I'll take you're desire

I'll take the world
When it turns on you
When it turns on you
I'll set it on fire...

W-the-w-th-th-the walking dead
The walking dead
Walking dead

Digging in the dirt
I can feel you getting closer
Steadying my hands through the blistering pain
Anxiously awaiting for the earth to reveal you
Wondering if I will ever see you again
See you again

Wondering if I will ever see you again

I'll take your love
I'll take your love
I'll take your hate
Take your hate
I'll take you're desire

I'll take your heart
I'll take your pain
I'll take your pain
I'll bring you to life

I'll bring you to life

W-the-w-th-th-the walking dead
The walking dead
Walking dead

I'll bring you to life

I'll take your love
I'll take your love
I'll take your hate
Take your hate
I'll take you're desire

I'll take the world
when it turns on you
It turns on you

W-the-w-th-th-the walking dead

I'll take your love
I'll take your love
I'll take your hate
Take your hate
I'll take you're desire

I'll take your heart
I'll take your pain
I'll take your pain

I'll bring you to life

 

I'm glad someone else noticed...

⊆ 10:32:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 3 responses »

Changefest! Link



Hilarious.

-M

 

Inauguration Day

⊆ 8:23:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 3 responses »

Inauguration day is the 20th, which is coincidentally the first day of classes.

One of my classes has been canceled.

One of my classes has said that we will be watching the inauguration in class.

For some reason, this really bothers me.

I mean... Seriously people. This isn't all that special a day. Certainly not worth canceling classes over.

Definitely not worth $160 million dollars. Certainly not worth nearly $50 million dollars.

I hate to break it to you people.

Obama is not the patron saint, a savior, or the solution to all our problems.

He is not all that and a bag of chips.

He is a man. A politician.

And if you haven't learned by now that all politicians are liars, crooks, and thieves, then I feel very sorry for you.

First black president. Whatever. I thought we as a society were supposed to be beyond stupid issues such as race. Good fucking grief.

I will give the man a chance he deserves.

But I'm sick of people going yippy-yappy hippity-hop over this.

To quote The Matrix, "You see: He's just a man."

-M, punching out.

 

Song of the Moment

⊆ 12:51:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

Sometimes you listen to your music, and a song just strikes you as... Being able to convey your mode and sentiment far better than you could ever hope to.

This is one of those nights.

Artist: Stratovarius
Song: Hunting High and Low
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-4Gm6VG4O0

Lyrics:

I feel the wind in my hair
And it's whispering, telling me things
Of the storm that is gathering near
Full of power I'm spreading my wings

Now I'm leaving my worries behind
Feel the freedom of body and mind
I am starting my journey
I'm drifting away with the wind
I go!

I am Hunting High and Low
Diving from the sky above
Looking for, more and more, once again
I'm Hunting High and Low
Sometimes I may win sometimes I'll lose
It's just a game that I play

After the storm there's a calm
Through the clouds shines a ray of the sun
I am carried from all of my harm
There is no one that I can't outrun

Now I'm leaving my worries behind
Feel the freedom of body and mind
I am starting my journey
I'm drifting away with the wind
I go!

I am Hunting High and Low
Diving from the sky above
Looking for, more and more, once again
I'm Hunting High and Low
Sometimes I may win, sometimes I'll lose
It's just a game that I play

I am hunting High and Low!
Diving from the sky above
Looking for, more and more, once again
I'm Hunting High and Low!
Sometimes I may win, sometimes I'll lose
It's just a game that I play
Hunting High and Low!
Diving from the sky above
Looking for, more and more, once again
Hunting High and Low!
Sometimes I may win, sometimes I'll lose
It's just a game that I play !
Hunting High and Low!

---

<3.

 

People who break the law

⊆ 7:59:00 PM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

I was reading a post on DSLReports, someone was ranting about the police again.

Original Post Starts:
While working tonight as a delivery driver, I was pulled over for speeding. I was speeding because I had taken one delivery, picked up my significant other, then was heading to the last delivery with my so when I was stopped

The cop approached on the passenger side, and seemed friendly enough... I gathered up the paperwork/license and he went off for about 20min to his crownvic to (presumably at this point) call a k-9 to the area..

Im not new to this... a speeding ticket is a simple matter and has never taken more than 5-10 min for a cop to write out and give to the offender. Instead I notice a k9 tahoe coming towards us, and it makes a u turn and parks with it's lights off next to the cop.

I knew what was going down. This cop saw my posession charge from 2 years ago and thought it was ok to search my car.

I never consented to a search nor acted suspiciously, another cop brought the dog around and told me he was doing an "open air search" yeah, ok whatever cop, I flat out stated that I do not consent to a search of my persons or my car (which isn't even in my name) directly into the dash cam.. I then proceeded to ask the cop what his probable cause for the search was... he told me he didn't need it for an "open air search" outside the vehicle... and then `voila without even hearing so much as a scratch this trained dog was inside my car (yes apparently he licked his nuts twice which means theres dope in the air) walking all over my seats sniffing and drooling like some rabid wilderbeast in need of being put down...

I repeatedly informed him of his blatant disregard for my constitutional rights and he informed me that is was "standard procedure" and "perfectly normal"

I went on to joke about how standardized their "procedure" for circumventing the us constitution seemed to be, but that regardless anything found could be excluded based on my non-consent

this was my first time with this cop, but not my first rodeo either... a complete feeling of helplessness... a blatant disregard for the law on their part, and a half hour of my life wasted by some idiot cop with an agenda

his reasoning for the search was my prior record.. and I let him know quite plainly that that wouldn't fly in court, it's just rediculous that it's happening in the first place..

the ends really justify the means for these people...
so concenered with locking two kids up who have been working all day, and were pulled over for speeding; nothing less; nothing more

so naturally I whipped out the things they couldn't find to calm down and enjoy my night instead of dwell on how savage this nation has become

never heard of a k-9 not finding it... but OH WOW!

Original Post Ends

OK, so let's analyze the facts that he presented.
1) He was speeding (breaking the law)
2) He has been convicted of prior drug possession.
3) The cop performed an open air search. This is common law in most states (the only one that comes to mind where this isn't legal is Washington). In most states, police are allowed to examine all openly visible areas and use them as probable cause. If you have a joint on the dash, expect to get questioned. If you smell of booze or pot, expect to get questioned.
4) The cop called in a K-9 unit. The K-9 unit performed an open air search and got a hit.
5) The K-9 unit was then allowed into the vehicle for further examination.
6) The K-9 unit did not find anything, so he gets off with the original speeding ticket.

Now, he claims that the cops violated his rights. How? ... By doing a search? Legal. By allowing the dog into the vehicle? Legal, the dog had a hit.

Now, let's examine his actions. By his own admission he did in fact have joints on himself again. ..Wait, what? You're breaking the law, but complaining about other people supposedly breaking the law?... My head hurts.

Look people.

It's a law. Pot is an illegal substance in the United States.

Yes, I understand, it's less harmful than tobacco, and helps people relax, and all this awesome shit. But it's still illegal.

You're not the next freaking Gandhi man. Your supposed civil disobedience isn't against tyranny. It's against something for your own selfish benefit.

The culture of self entitlement in this country sickens me.

(Side note: I am for the legalization of pot. However, it is not yet legal. Deal with it.)

 

Risks

⊆ 2:25:00 AM by Mike Santangelo | ˜ 0 responses »

There's an inherent risk in anything that everyone can do.

The original title for this blog was, of course, Audaces Fortuna Juvat.

For those that do not know much latin, this translates very simply to: Fortune Favors The Bold.

I took a risk tonight. hehe

Let us see where it takes me.

Until I see where I end up, I leave my dear readers with the following sentiment.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
The sun shine warm upon your face.
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again...
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

1ne.