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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Now, in Context: Immigration


One evening, I was talking to my good Danish friend on Facebook (no, wooden shoes and a history of slave trading would be Dutch). We naturally started talking about politics, because that's what normal, friendly people do. Immigration is a huge issue in Denmark, and a moderate-conservative party in the country, known as the Danish People's Party, has used their decade long winning streak to make citizenship bids incredibly difficult – to the point where spouses of native born Danes are not granted citizenship for some time. Most of this strict legislation was put into place because of the large number of Arab and Turkish immigrants, a recent trend that has been only increasing with time.


What I said next was more a matter of national bragging, but it turned out to be my epiphany for the night. "In America, we're all immigrants." It's the corny sentence that has been written in tons of American history textbooks, but it's very true. The people that make up this nation today would not exist if not for the wave after wave of immigration to this country. Even archaeologists say that the two American continents were devoid of all mankind for the longest period of time (it takes a while to travel from Africa to the Americas on foot, or so I'm told). Everyone who came to this continent was definitively an immigrant.

Fast-forward thousands of years to now. We're having the same political discussion about immigration that we, as a country, have had since the original 13 colonies were started. At first, anyone not a puritan was banned. Then that loosened to anyone except Catholics (which took a hundred years to accept). In an industrial nation in the 1890s, new immigration laws were needed to keep the Irish and the Germans out, then the Chinese (which really meant any Asians coming into California). Then it was Jews and Eastern Europeans in the 1920s. I'm rather glad that was relaxed, otherwise I'd be writing this in Hungarian. Then specifically communists coming from Eastern Europe. Here we are, in 2011, and we've nearly run out of people to limit.

Granted, we still have all of Africa and Latin America to go through, but we've already started working on the latter. If there is any historic trend here, it's that these immigration "reforms" will be temporary, and the target group will become an integral part of American society. Can you look down your street and say there are no Irish or Germans? How about Eastern Europeans? If you're a part Native American reader, how about Europeans in general?

I'm not convinced that stopping or even hindering this ageless concept is the right one. It's a process that has outlasted any attempts to halt it – just look at the Ellis Island Museum for proof. The debate in today's politics should not focus on how to best prevent or limit the newest wave of immigrants, but rather how to best accommodate and integrate these newcomers. I'm not talking about assimilation here, but simply acceptance. Not only would we prove that we understand our own history, we would prove that we are working towards a healthy future for this country's society. To reword a bit of Greek mythology: all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again. What we can do differently this time is to show we are indeed progressing in human understanding. At the very least, it will make our political debate for the next couple decades more productive.














Images:
Generic Map found on Yahoo images, doctored with arrows by myself (the poor image quality wasn't enough of a tell?)

American Migration Patterns found here: http://news.illinois.edu/news/07/1025genetics.html

Political Cartoon from The History Project, University of California, Davis: http://historyproject.ucdavis.edu/marchandslides.bak/PCD3636/images/IMG0103.jpg

by Adam

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Never Forget Our Allies

Never Forget Our Allies

The Libyan Rebels are close to victory in overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi's government completely. These rebels recently liberated most of Tripoli from Gaddafi's troops, and are trying to find the dictator of 42 years.




Their war is not yet over, but they are much closer to victory than they were even just a few days ago.

However, the United States needs to not forget history in a situation like this. After the mujahideen defeated the Soviets in the late 1980s, their country was in pieces. Tribal factions battled, extremists gained power, and the economic livelihood and public services were destroyed. These conditions allowed Islamic militants to train and plot terrorist attacks from ungoverned areas of Afghanistan.

The US has overthrown another Islamic nation's government through directly supporting rebels. The war has destroyed law and order, limited public services, and has reduced the main source of the nations wealth, oil exports.

If the US wants to keep the goodwill from the Libyan people and prevent another failed state, and the national security issues those raise, then we must not turn our back to the Libyan Rebels. We need to continue diplomatic dialogues, providing economic assistance, and keep fostering the discussion for a democratic future in the nation.




Jeff with politics

Images from:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8719129/Libya-rebels-seize-HQ-at-heart-of-tyrants-regime.html
http://globalciviliansforpeace.com/2011/08/05/libyan-rebels-embrace-u-s-and-its-flag/

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Announcement

To all of our readers,

You may have noticed a slowdown of postings recently. The writers at allourblogs are currently going through exciting and busy times. Many of our regular and guest writers are busy traveling to, moving into and settling back into their college lives. One writer has a lack of time with collegiate football practice in preparation to his regular season. Two other writers were completely unable to write for various reasons.

However, our team is dedicated to writing new and entertaining posts regularly. We are also perusing other website designs to make allourblogs more reader friendly. In the near future, allourblogs will resume the timely production of material and hopefully unveil a new format.

Any feedback or imput on the site is appreciated!

Thanks for your patience, loyalty, and understanding,
Allourblogs




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why the Attacks on Warren Buffett Need to Stop

Why the Attacks on Warren Buffett Need to Stop
Warren Buffett, billionaire investor and businessman, recently became the center of media headlines this week after presenting his view of the current budget crisis.
Mr. Buffett publically announced that he felt that his “friends and [himself] I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress…[and that it’s] time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice (Buffet).
He argued that if the government was ever to successfully shed its $14 Trillion debt, it needed to stop playing partisan games and craft an all-encompassing policy.  The policy he desires includes large tax increases for the super-rich.  Buffett says that he, along with other billionaires, will not stop trying to make money (and therefore end job creation) if taxes increase.  He says this because he is the job creator Republicans claim to try and protect in the name of economic progress.
The right wing media and politicians began to criticize Buffett in order to prevent the American people from agreeing with the incredibly successful businessman.  They decried him as unsuccessful and incompetent.  They claimed that Buffett had never been a job creator and that he did not have any idea how the market worked!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/14/barack-obama-gives-warren_n_646570.html
http://dealbreaker.com/tag/warren-buffett/page/7/

Buffett made his billion dollar fortune himself.  He began to build his fortune at a young age through a series of investments, starting of companies, and other money-making dealings.  This is the man that has predicted global market activity and economic trends for decades to amass his vast fortune. 

Any premise that Buffett is unqualified to speak for the mega-rich and how they would react to an income tax increase is ludicrous and unfounded.  The attacks on this American economic icon and one of the most brilliant market minds we have today are illogical and for the sake of sanity and our countries’ economic prosperity should end immediately and completely.


Jeff with current events

Quote from:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html
Images from:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

They’ll Tear Themselves Apart

They'll Tear Themselves Apart

Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachman won this week’s Iowa Straw Poll, a moral victory that could launch her bid to the Republican nomination.  However, two major candidates stand in her way.  Former Utah governor Mitt Romney and current Texas Governor Rick Perry. 

However, for any candidate to secure the GOP nomination, they need to appeal to a majority of the Republicans.  There are a few major groups that make up the Republican Party nationally.  These include social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, moderates, libertarians, Evangelicals, and the Tea Party.  These three candidates need to find their unique niche among the field to gain an advantage. 
Romney has played to the center early on in his campaign.  He is trying to gain the moderates as his largest supporters.  He also plays on fiscal conservatives with his CEO background.  The former governor has not, and will not, try and gain far right voters from his competition.
This is where the other two contenders will fight and scratch to gain every last vote.  Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry both claim to be ultra religious, social and fiscal conservatives, and Tea Party leaders.  They both have Evangelical supporters as well.
This will be Perry and Bachman’s downfall. They have to fight for the same voters.  In a head on head battle, each will have their dirty laundry waived in public, and it will turn ugly.  If Sarah Palin enters the race, this mess will only deepen.  The fight will drag on, especially when each candidate has deep pockets and loyal supporters.
The only thing Romney has to do is sit back, win a few primaries, and not make a major mistake.

So I will call it now.  Without a major meltdown by Romney or a dropout by all of the conservative candidates, Mitt Romney will be the Republicans 2012 Presidential nominee.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week in Review (August 7-14)

Week in Review

Every Sunday we will publish a post to catch you up on the week’s most important stories:

US
• The Iowa Straw Poll occurred Saturday in the Hawkeye State. The poll had Iowan Republicans vote on their current favorite candidate, but is unrelated to the primaries. Congresswoman Michelle Bachman won, barely beating Ron Paul, and securing her upward momentum. (Former governor Mitt Romney did not participate).


• Former governor Tim Pawlenty finished third in the Iowa Straw Poll, and subsequently dropped out of the race. Pawlenty never gained traction and was never seen as a major player.



• Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his candidacy for the GOP nominee this week. He is expected to appeal to Christian Evangelicals, as well as social and fiscal conservatives. Expect his to be a serious threat to Romney and Bachman.








• After the S&P downgraded, US stocks went on a roller-coaster week, with ups and downs over 400 points for four straight days (first time ever).





• The bodies of the almost two dozen Navy Seals and other US service members slain in a helicopter crash arrived home for burial this week. The Taliban unit who shot down the copter were reported killed by US airstrikes as well. Let us take a minute to remember our American heroes.



World
• Syria continues to try and put down a pro-democratic revolution this week, including the new use of naval power. Thousands have died in this conflict and many nations are calling for the end of the bloodshed.
London suffered horrific riots this week after a police involved shooting of a young man. Millions in damages occurred and many were injured or arrested in violence across the nation. Youths feeling disenfranchised with the system are blamed for the most damage.





Sports

• The last golf major occurred this week with Keegan Bradley won in an incredible finish. He had a late last round surge to force a three hole playoff with Jason Dufner.





• The NFL held its first preseason games this week. See tomorrows article on this topic.










Entertainment
• The Rise of the Planet of the Apes led the Box Office once again with earnings just shy of $30M







Allourblogs reached 2,500 views in about 2.5 weeks!


Jeff for allourblogs with the Week in Review

Images from:
http://www.onlinecnnnews.com/leading-candidates-set-to-meet-in-first-new-hampshire-debate/
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/08/why-tim-pawlentys-campaign-never-took-off/243569/
http://www.borowitzreport.com/2011/06/20/rick-perrys-campaign-slogan-what-harm-could-a-governor-of-texas-do/

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rebecca Black's Life is Ruined

We've all seen the infamous Friday music video. The song performed by the 14 year old Rebecca Black became a viral hit because when it was declared by media sources (such as Rolling Stone) as the worst song of all time.


That's when the haters became widespread. These people were not content giving the video a low ranking on YouTube or posting their disliking of the song. It became fashionable to criticize the young girl herself. Horrible people began bullying her directly and death threats were placed on the girls life.

These evil people were actually openly saying that they wanted to kill the girl. These sentiments were echoed not by a few extremists, but were agreed with by hundreds of people online.

All over not liking a music video from a 14 year old amateur musician.
Recently, Rebecca dropped out of school because of all of this. Her classmates haven't stopped mocking or bullying the girl. Publicity was equally miserable from total strangers. To avoid all of this, Rebecca's parents took her out of her school and have started to home school her.

All because of the harassment she received. From everyone. For a poorly recorded YouTube video.

What does this mean for society? What does this say about us, that we collectively virtually ruined a young girls' life over a bad song?

I honestly don't know. All I can say is that I too disliked the song. However, I did not say anything bad online against the girl, nor would I ever say anything to her face to face. I'm honestly disappointed for my fellow Americans that we've done something as terrible as shatter a child's self worth and possibly destroy her future.



Jeff on current events

Images from:
rebecca-black-friday-good-morning-america-interview-gma-ark-music-interview-viral-song
http://www.fempop.com/2011/08/10/rebecca-black-pulled-from-school-fun-fun-fun-fun/leave-rebecca-black-alone-2/

Thursday, August 11, 2011

End the TSA

Today I toured the USS Constitution, the Navy's longest serving ship (from the early 1800s to today). Because it is considered an active military site, to enter the dock at which the ship was located, all tourists were required to go through security.



In the course of a couple of minutes, literally hundreds of visitors had their ID checked, had their belongings x-rayed, and passed through a metal detector. At any major airport in the US, I cannot guess how many times longer it would take the TSA to process the same number of passengers.

The TSA has an important job to preform in the nation. They screen millions of fliers in order to protect us from our enemies. However, they are civilians, basically trained and put into one of the most stressful positions in the nation. They are like the mall cops of the sky; and this is the reason why infants and wheelchair ridden grandmothers are put in positions where they are evaluated as an equally potential threat as a young man displaying signs of nervousness and unwillingness to interact with others.




The military is trained to perceive potential hostility and nervousness in strangers. They are taught how to spot potential enemies from a group and how to determine what seems to be out of the ordinary. The military's primary job is to defend the US from attack, so why shouldn't they take over for the TSA?

The military already has proven to be one or the most efficient and proficient parts of the government. It seems the rational thing to do would be to relieve the TSA of screening passengers at airports with expanding military personal obligations. This handover of duties would slash screening times, reduce personnel (and therefore costs), and put more expertly trained men and women in the position of protecting the nation from threats that might only be found by a militarily trained official.

The TSA has not allowed another 9/11 to occur on their watch (thank God). Their service and dedication is to be applauded and thanked. However, the same agency has continued to create horrendous delays and cost billions in tax-payer money. I think it's time for the military, a proven security force, to once again answer their call to duty and serve another security role for the American people.

Jeff with current events

Images from:

http://boston.ettractions.com/aid/7452/access/uss-constitution-ship-boston-history-tours.html
http://blog.thedrahos.net/2011/05/art-in-protest/

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Andrews Movie Quote of The Day

"Lester: [laughing in realization] I get it, you a member of the Slapaho Tribe.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lester: [to Mitch] You put the hit on that girl and everyone here knows it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
John Q. Archibald: Who was driving?
Mitch: Huh?
John Q. Archibald: The car. Who was driving?
Mitch: I was. What's that got to do with anything?
John Q. Archibald: Why's your girl all banged up and you're not?
Mitch: What do you call this?
[shows light scratches on arm]
Lester: [laughs]
Mitch: What are you laughing at?
Lester: Somebody get this fool a band-aid. I don't want you to bleed to death.
Mitch: Screw you man. This sh*t hurts.
Julie Bird: His airbag went off and mine didn't.
John Q. Archibald: What kind of car do you drive?
Mitch: Mercedes 500.
John Q. Archibald: You drive a Mercedes 500? Oh. What year?
Mitch: 1986. It's a classic.
John Q. Archibald: Mercedes didn't make passenger side air-bags til 1988.
Lester: [laughs] *Busted!*
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Max Conlin: So what? Are you just gonna go in there and off yourself?
John Q. Archibald: Only one thing is gonna stop me.
Max Conlin: Yeah, and what is that?
John Q. Archibald: If Mitch is B positive.
Mitch: Oh Hell no. Uh-uh. No way baby.
[Everybody laughs]
John Q. Archibald: See you in the funny papers." -Denzel Washington starring in John Q... A movie about a man with failing health insurance refusing to just sit and watch his son die.


your general writer,

Andrew

Watch the Throne

A couple days ago, the much anticipated collaboration between Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne, was released on iTunes, with the actual CD being released on August 12th. The album includes appearances by BeyoncĂ©, Frank Ocean, Mr. Hudson, Swizz Beatz, and Kid Cudi. With Kanye West and Jay-Z working together on an entire album, there were extremely high expectations for the album, with many people assuming it would become an instant classic. Kanye and Jay-Z are two of the most famous artists in the world, and they have worked together in the past on Jay-Z’s hit album, The Blueprint.

There has been a ridiculous amount of hype surrounding this album, and most music critics have given it relatively good reviews. Upon early release, “H-A-M” hit 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Otis” hit 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. As a whole, however, I don’t think the album can live up to the preset standards everyone made for it. This collaboration should theoretically produce one of the greatest rap albums ever created, but it is nowhere near that level.

Jay-Z and Kanye sound great on the album, but they don’t seem to mesh with each other very well. They are too big to be able to handle this kind of teamwork-based album, and their lyrics tend to focus on themselves, as the album’s title suggests. The only problem is, which one of them is sitting in the throne? It seems almost as if this album displays that very battle, to take over the throne, but their disguising it be “collaborating”. It’s not that their work is bad, and like I said, they sound great as two individuals performing on the same album. But they don’t ever impress me as being a team. The whole album feels more like a money-making scheme based on the hype they knew would be generated by to rap superstars working on the same album. Unlike the ‘90’s collaborations between Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, this is a “Super Album” where both stars are featured in every song. It sounds great in theory, but I really don’t think it works out that well in reality.

I will give both Jay-Z and Kanye West credit for recording the entire album in person as opposed to recording at separate locations. That was definitely a step in the right direction towards a true collaborative project, although there are rumors that the two argued about the musical direction of the album, and most of the music they originally recorded doesn’t appear on Watch the Throne. I would be very interested to hear that material; did somebody say second album? We’ll see, but I have a feeling that they’ll work together again in the future, depending on the success of Watch the Throne.

From a musical aspect, I really don’t enjoy the album that much. The beats are a kind of strange combination of oldschool and new rap that doesn’t really fit the combination of Jay-Z and Kanye. I will admit that I’m partial to the older stuff, and the beats on Doggystyle are probably some of my favorite of all time. I’m not really a fan of newer styles and beats, but I think the combination can be very effective at reaching a wide audience. I just don’t think they did a great job mixing them on this album. I’ve heard music from both Kanye and Jay-Z that completely outshines Watch the Throne, and it’s honestly disappointing. I do really like “Otis” and “Murder to Excellence”, but “H-A-M” is terrible and the rest of the album draws the “meh” response from me.

I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me, and I know that many people love the album, but I really feel like they didn’t nail it like they could have. I don’t see this being an extremely memorable album 10 or 20 years from now, but all we can do is wait and see what happens.

Image Courtesy of:
en.wikipedia.org

Carlin with Music

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Brutality in Britian

Brutality in Britain




Over the last few nights, London, and other various British cities have been plagued by riots and the violent actions of many. The initial protests occurred in response to the slaying of a young man by a police officer in an unenfranchised, poverty stricken area of London.


Rioters, law enforcement, victims, and bystanders all agree that the violence has been instigated and carried out by the poor Brits and their rage targeted towards symbols of British authority, wealthy, and law. In the much quoted words of a rioter, "we're just showing the rich we can do what we want."

Nowhere has this been more evident than when an hibernate end restaurant was stormed by a band of bat wielding youths who demanded valuables and money from all of the patrons.

The violence has left another man dead, countless injured, hundreds arrested, and tens of millions of dollars worth of damage inflicted.

This unfortunate violence must end. The rioters may be justified in their anger at a system that they feel has failed them. However, violence cannot be responded to with the reward of giving more waltz to the aggressors at the expense of the victims. At this point, it may be necessary to severely punish the aggressors in efforts to prevent illegal, violent, unethical, and barbaric actions in the future, regardless of the validity of the protectors grievances.


Jeff with current events

Images from:
http://www.google.com/m/search?site=images&gl=us&client=safari&source=mog&hl=en&aq=f&oq=&aqi=-k0d0t0&fkt=2132&fsdt=3027&cqt=&rst=&htf=&his=&maction=&q=london+riots+car#i=15

Monday, August 8, 2011

Andrews Movie Quote of The Day

Sorry I haven't had a chance to post my quote of the day in a while, but I managed to crash my computer deleting everything on it. So you get two from Zombie Land.




"Tallahassee: I'm not great at farewells, so uh, that'll do pig

Columbus: That's the worst goodbye I've ever heard, and you stole it from a movie."



"Little Rock: Who's Bill Murray?

Tallahasse I've never hit a kid before. I mean, that's like asking who Gandhi is.

Little Rock: Who's Gandhi?"



"Tallahassee: Here's the deal- I'm not easy to get along with..."




Okay, so maybe three, I couldn't help myself

your general writer,

Andrew

Images from: apps.facebook.com, www. facebook.com

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Week in Review

Week in Review

Every Sunday we will publish a post to catch you up on the week’s most important stories:

US
• The Federal government passed a ten year, $2 Trillion deficit reduction plan earlier this week to prevent a default or partial government shutdown. The deal cuts the federal budget and has no immediate revenue increases in the language. This was seen as a win for the right and major lose for the left.
• Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US’s triple A credit rating down a level later this week after the passage of the deficit deal. Their rational was that the US did not cut enough to get financially healthy. However, this is the same company that didn’t downgrade companies that went bankrupt or were bailed out by TARP funds. It’s also the same group that ranks nations who have a high change of imploding with higher credit ratings than the US. This won’t do anything.
• The deadliest day for the military in decades occurred this week when a helicopter carrying elite American troops was shot down in Afghanistan. 30 died, including 22 Navy Seals from the same group that killed Bin Laden. We thank them for their service and sacrifice.

World
• Syria continues to suffer devastating bloodshed in the Middle East. The “President” is trying to squash protests by his people, centered in Hama. This city has been attacked by troops, tanks, artillery, and even airpower. Thousands have been confirmed killed with thousands others missing, wounded, or presumed killed. The international community has little power over the country and NATO and other nations have said that they lack the ability and troops necessary to stop the slaughter.
• The Somalia federal government recently gained control over the entirety of the capital Mogadishu. This victory came on the heels of a new offensive and rebel retreats. The government has been battling an Islamic militant group that is affiliated with Al Qaeda for years. In fact, the Civil War has been raging for decades with the government controlling only the capitol and a handful of villages across the country the size of Texas. Militants, pirates, and warlords control the rest. However, other nations, like the US have tried to help wrestle control back into the government’s hands. Black Hawk Down was inspired by a deadly day for US troops in the country in the 1990s.

Sports
• The NFL lockout ended earlier this week. The lockout ended with a new deal between players and team owners. The season will be instated and a supplemental draft will occur. Also, the deal agreed upon a long-term agreement, so a lockout does not have to opportunity to reoccur until the 2020s. (http://allourblogsblogs.blogspot.com/2011/07/terrelle-pryor-should-be-nfl-qb.html , http://allourblogsblogs.blogspot.com/2011/07/terrelle-pryor-into-supplemental-draft.html)
• Tiger Woods played his first tournament in months after recovering from injury. The troubled golfer ended in the middle of the pack, and said he did not play well. Tiger preformed exceptionally on many holes but struggled on most. He says that he expects to be a contender in his next appearances.

Entertainment
• The prequel to the blockbuster Planet of the Apes, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, was the highest earning movie at the box office this week. This came after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 became the third highest grossing movie ever this week as well.
• Shark Week began earlier this week and is expected to be the most watched yet!(http://allourblogsblogs.blogspot.com/2011/07/shark-week.html)

A Weekend of Food in Charleston

If you want good food, you should book the next flight to Charleston, South Carolina. My whole time there, I saw only a handful of fast food restaurant and everything else was locally owned restaurants. Most of the restaurants feature local seafood, but you can find just about anything. Below are reviews for one restaurant I visited each day.

Day One:
Dinner: Pearlz Oyster Bar
Pearlz is a small, old restaurant in downtown Charleston that offers a wide variety of seafood. To start, I had a cup of New England clam chowder that was creamy and filled with clams and thick cut potatoes, possibly the best clam chowder I’ve ever eaten. The restaurant features about 8 different types of fresh fish that change each day. I chose grilled swordfish for my main dish which came with grilled asparagus and red rice. The fish was thick and tender; however I found the rice to be a bit overpowering and spicy. When eaten with the fish or asparagus, it was really the only thing I tasted. Overall, I would recommend Pearlz if you like seafood as you can find most types of fish and other sea foods on the menu.

Website: www.pearlzoysterbar.com/
Pearlz Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Day Two:
Dinner: Joe Pasta
Situated on the corner of one of the main roads through downtown Charleston, Joe Pasta is a rare Italian restaurant in the seafood-dominant city. I ordered baked penne
which was penne pasta baked with a creamy marina sauce and a blend of various cheeses. Personally, I thought it lacked flavor and I was tired of it about halfway through. The sauce had little flavor and the pasta was covered in baked cheese, which I ended up scraping off to the side because I was eating more cheese than pasta with each bite. It’s not like the food was inedible, but I have had much better pasta at other places.

Website: www.joepasta.com
Joe Pasta on Urbanspoon

Day Three:
Breakfast: Toast
Toast isn’t hard to locate like many other restaurants in downtown Charleston because of the constant swarm of people waiting outside. It’s one of, if not the, most popular breakfast restaurants in downtown yet it only has two small dining rooms. I got there around 10 and they said it would be about a 30 minute wait. An hour and half later we were seated for breakfast. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a morning person, so I was angry at the world for having to wait an hour and a half to eat breakfast when it was only supposed to be 30 minutes. I ordered the traditional French
toast breakfast which came with two slices of thick French toast and several pieces of bacon. I also ordered a side of scrambled eggs because I figured this would probably be my breakfast and lunch since it was already 11:30. The food came out fairly quickly but I’m not going to lie, there wasn’t really anything special about it even though Toast has been recommended by the NY Times and has rave reviews online. My breakfast was good and extremely filling, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think it was worth such a long wait. The staff, however, was extremely courteous and let us know how many people were ahead of us and took our drink orders while we waited. I would recommend Toast if there is little to no wait and you’re looking for a quick, good breakfast.

Website: www.toastofcharleston.com
Toast on Urbanspoon

Day Four:
Dinner: Hyman’s Seafood
Like Toast, there is swarm of people outside Hyman’s at most hours of the day. After 5:30, you can expect at least an hour’s wait. Unlike Toast, Hyman’s is actually worth the wait. It’s rated the best seafood restaurant in the southeast and there are two floors of dining rooms after dining rooms to accommodate the crowds each night. One unique feature of the restaurant are the metal plaques
fastened to each table that tell you what celebrities ate at the table you ate at. Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, and The Beach Boys were among those that ate at the table I did as well as Jasmine Guy, James Brown, and David Lee Roth. There are a slew of celebrities who have eaten here and are featured on the walls of the restaurant including Oprah, AC/DC, Michael Phelps, and Sandra Bullock. Half the fun is just seeing what celebrities ate at the table you did. To start, I ordered two appetizers—calamari and crab dip (there are coupons galore for the crab dip which gets you it for free). The calamari was tender and not the least bit chewy and as an added bonus was only $5. The dip was refreshing and had a bit of a tangy flavor to it. My sister and I decided to split the shrimp dinner. You can choose how you want each dish cooked—fried, broiled, steamed, etc—but the restaurant recommends fried, so we chose fried shrimp. With each meal you receive hush puppies, coleslaw, and an additional side of your choice ensuring you will definitely not go hungry. The shrimp was crispy and didn’t taste oily or over-fried like some foods that are fried can. I'm not sure the food would taste as good if it weren't fried as that seems to be their specialty and they even hint that other preparations won't taste like anything on the menu, but I could be wrong. As long as you like seafood, you are guaranteed to find something you will like. They feature about 10 fresh fish that change daily as well as four pages of different entrees. Go before 5:30 to avoid the wait and you won’t leave the least bit hungry.

Website: www.hymanseafood.com
Hyman's on Urbanspoon

Erin with Restaurants

Images from:
merecat.org
charlestoncitypaper.com
blog.imabug.net
www.hymanseafood.com

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Battleground: Twitter

If you keep current with TechCrunch (which I highly recommend you do), you have probably heard about the ongoing battle between two of the world’s technology superpowers, Google and Microsoft. I find this battle to be particularly awesome for two reasons. First and foremost, I will admit that I am a nerd and this is like the Cold War of tech history. Secondly, I’m in Mountain View, California, home to Google’s Headquarters and Microsoft research offices. Essentially, I’m out here on the front lines of an aggressive battle over patents and the general dominance of the tech world. I never thought of Silicon Valley as a war zone.

In reality, however, location has nothing to do with this battle royale, nor should it considering our obsession with the internet and the almighty “Cloud” (enter dramatic music clip here). So, these two giants have chosen to fight primarily by tweeting. Is it just me or does that make this whole thing go from awesome to pathetic instantly? I can only imagine if all wars were fought this way… “Sir, we have to retweet, the enemy has already tweeted four times, and the insurgents have retweeted their tweets! Abandon ship, U.S.S. Public Image is going down!” I apologize if you actually read that, but you get my point. This is stupid.

The root issue has to do with Google’s claim that Microsoft, Apple, and some other parties bought patents without letting Google bid on them. The patents have to do with mobile devices, and Google is trying to prove that these companies are attempting to assassinate that funny looking little green guy named Android. At first, I was upset, because I like Android and I enjoy saying “Droid” in that creepy, low-pitched robot voice. What would I do if that went away forever? But, Microsoft had the sense to display an email proving that they did offer Google the chance to bid on the patents, and that Google declined. The fight is still ongoing, with the two companies slapping each other in the face. Apple on the other hand has watched from the sidelines.

So, who will win the war? Will Microsoft triumph and get back into the spotlight, or will Google come out on top, with Android eliminating Microsoft’s chance at competing in the mobile phone industry? Here’s the answer: Apple. That’s right, the iPhone will still continue to dominate, regardless of how much Google and Microsoft duke it out in Twitter. While Google and Microsoft continue to diminish themselves, they are drawing any attention away from the positive aspects of what they have to offer. Let’s be honest, everyone knows that Android has an obvious advantage over any Windows phone, so Google is hurting themselves more in this process. Meanwhile, Steve Jobs is laughing all the way to the bank, just like he has been for years. Well played sir, well played.


Images courtesy of:
www.android.com
www.wtfhub.com

Carlin with Technology

The allourblogs College Football Preseason Rankings

First of all, I believe that the preseason rankings are pointless. How can you rank teams and not see them play a down against another team? I believe that is no fair. Plus, these rankings go into the final rankings for the BCS. There should be no preseason rankings. After week 1, there can be rankings. Don’t get me wrong, it still is fun to see if your team is predicted to win the national title and where others believe your team stands, but it isn’t fair to the other teams.

So let us get started, in descending order.

10. South Carolina Gamecocks
Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks have a lot to look forward to this year. If Alshon Jeffery (WR) and Marcus Lattimore (HB) are healthy and have a great year, this is one hell of a team. Last year they went to the SEC Championship game but got mulled against eventual champion Auburn. The strength in the gamecocks puts them at #10 in our rankings.

9. Boise State Broncos
Boise State is always in the fight for one of the top spots. Chris Peterson does a wonderful job with this squad. They have two huge games this year, at Georgia the first week and the game against TCU. If they get past both of these teams, look for this team to again be in the discussion for a national title game. What is even better about this team is that they can even run this year with Doug Martin who averaged 6.3 yards per carry.

8. Wisconsin Badgers
The power running attack of the Badgers is something else. With the new addition of Russell Wilson, watch this team open up the offense a little bit more. I was in love with John Clay, but Montee Ball and James White will do just fine this year with the offensive line that they have in Wisconsin. The predicted Big Ten champions will make a good run this season to the top teams this season.

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Justin Blackmon is the top WR in the Big 12, let alone in the country. Brandon Weeden (QB) will have a new offensive coordinator to help him call the shots. Their entire offensive line returns from last year. But their defense is rather questionable this season. But who really needs a defense in the Big 12 as long as you score more points.

6. Oregon Ducks
The Ducks return a good a backfield with LaMichael James (HB) and Darron Thomas (QB), so there is no question they will have firepower on offense this year. They lost their top CB due to suspension so look for them to also have a questionable defense next year.

5. Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tide this year lost some incredible players last year but still return Trent Richardson (HB). They have to replace Julio Jones. In the offseason, they picked up Duron Carter (WR) from Ohio State but was kicked off the team due to academics. Their defense lost a great defensive line but Alabama feels as though they made up for the new line that they will start this year. They don’t exactly have the same firepower they did last year with Mark Ingram and co. but still should have an incredible year with Nick Saban.

4. Florida State Seminoles
They are a team with incredible speed this year. Returning 16 starters from last year, they need to replace Christian Ponder. It looks as though E.J. Manuel will be calling the shots. And if he can keep the ball away from the other team, this squad will have an exceptional year. The defense on this team is devastating. DE Brandon Jenkins had 13.5 sacks last year which was 3rd last year.

3. LSU Tigers
If Jordan Jefferson produces this year and is consistent, this team is the one to beat. HB Spencer Ware is going to have a great season this year. Usually LSU hiccups at least once during the season so that is why they can’t be named #1 in this ranking.

2. Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners have a gunslinger this year in Landry Jones. The only issue with this squad is a replacement for DeMarco Murray (HB). If they beat Florida State in the 2nd game of the season and Oklahoma State this year, this team is going all of the way to the title game. The consensus #1 in the polls ends up #2 in our poll.

And the #1 team is……..


1. Stanford Cardinal
With the best QB returning for his final season, it is hard to see Andrew Luck not doing well this season. This kid is as for real as it gets. Their team may not bring back many starters this season but, they bring back the important players. Stanford outrushed their opponents 2,779 to 1,571. This offense is just jaw-dropping. The defense is very good, only allowing 17.4 points per game. This is why they have the allourblogs #1 ranking for 2011.

Picture from http://en.wikipedia.org

Alex with sports

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Andrew's Movie Quote of The Day

I know I'm not being anything other than traditional by quoting the movie "Hoosiers" but honestly. How can I have a blog with "Andrew's Movie Quote of The Day" and NOT have a Hoosiers quote?






"Coach Norman Dale: First of all, let's be real friendly here, okay? My name is Norm. Secondly, your coaching days are over.

George: Look, mister, there's... two kinds of dumb, uh... guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and, uh, guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with.

Coach Norman Dale: Translate. That some sort of threat?" -Gene Hackman playing Coach Norman Dale in Hoosiers


your general writer,

Andrew

Image from: itplus.com

Dear Facebook

Dear Facebook,

Every student relies on your distracting and entertaining presence to keep us from our class work on a much needed daily basis. However, I have to ask you to change one thing for us.

For many people, their Facebook page displays their critical information, information that defines who they are. These include name, age, and hometown. However, Facebook has chosen to also include such unimportant identifiers such as lingual skills. To me, I do not find it pertinent to discover that someone “kinda knows French” or “Pig Latin”.

A more constructive use of this space would be for the ability to show Greek or other organizational affiliation. To me, along with the 400,000 active Greeks in America, Greek affiliation is indisputably a big identifier. The 9,000,000 alumni would also stand by my sentiment.

I am a member of Alpha Tau Omega. I am an ATO 24/7 and I take that to heart. I joined an organization which aims at improving myself and my community. Greek isn’t just the letters you proudly display; it’s a way to live your life.

Non Greeks also feel identified by the organizations they join. Many feel described by their political party or religious affiliation. Countless other Facebook users would prioritize their organizational membership above lingual abilities when advertising who they are.

Something for you to consider,

Jeff




Image from:
http://notanotherdinosaur.com/category/digital-love/

One Night in San Francisco

Last night, I decided to attend a startup event in San Francisco with one of my roommates (whose name I won’t mention). It was about a 50 minute train ride into the city from where I’m staying, and we arrived downtown around 7:30. We stopped at the grocery store to pick up some food and drinks for the event, and despite all of my requests for heartier food, my roommate insisted on buying tortilla chips and guacamole. I figured this was a bad idea, considering most of the people at this event were college kids, and I was pretty hungry but it wasn’t worth arguing about. Please keep in mind as you read that I was already hungry at this point in the story.

After walking for almost half an hour, we finally found the place, which was a really awesome, old, 4 story, brick factory building. We walked through the door and I discovered that entrepreneurs are apparently really worried about building fires, because the entire group of 75 to 100 people was crammed into a really small area right by the entrance even though we were in a huge open building.

My roommate and I, carrying our chips, waded through the crowd to the food table, and to our great surprise, it was a table full of uneaten bags of tortilla chips. I think a few expletives were announced, but I will give my roommate some credit. He didn’t buy just any tortilla chips. He went to Whole Foods and bought the fresh overpriced ones. Since he did that, everyone there ate all of our chips first, and then despite buying the only “decent” food, we had only a couple bites of it.

I was in a good mood though, so I didn’t care too much until much later in the night when I got really hungry, and I was focused more on practicing my networking skills. My roommate on the other hand seemed more focused on practicing his womanizing skills. We split up pretty early and every time I looked over at him, he was talking to a different girl. I found this amazing considering there were only about 5 there. My only question was, “Why would you come to an event that you know is going to be a “nerdy sausage fest” (trust me, that’s really the only way to describe it) to meet chicks?” So, while I’m talking to hardcore programmers about their next big iPhone app or social networking site, roommate is talking to “hot” Indian programmer about his hot tub or something. Definitely an effective use of the event, roommate. Way to go.

I didn’t want to pass judgment though, and I let him be until it was time to leave and he wanted to go to a bar with the group of people. I think my exact words were, “Aw hell no.” Then we started walking back towards the train stop, with the intention of getting something to eat. My roommate, however, decided it was a good idea to drink at the networking event with no food in his stomach, and despite not drinking very much, he was moving pretty slow and had to go to the bathroom pretty urgently. Yet, every place we passed as we were walking wasn’t good enough for him to use to relieve himself. Finally, after about 15 minutes of walking past girls in tutus and strange stores, we came across a Shell station, where a homeless man was administering bathroom keys. Obviously this was the best place to go according to my roommate so he went to the bathroom while I was left alone with homeless guy.

At first, I talked to him about where to eat cheap in San Fran, which is really difficult to do. He recommended a donut shop about a block away. Then he asked why I was in California, and I told him I was an Intern from OSU. Then he asked me my major, and I told him I was in engineering. Then he asked me what kind of engineering and I told him aerospace. Then my roommate finally came out of the bathroom. Then he proceeded to go into his theory of Nazi reverse engineering of UFOs in WWII for about ten minutes. And he was serious. So here’s a really great history lesson for those of you that don’t know too much about where all of our technology came from. In brief, the Nazis found a UFO in the Black Forest with a live alien inside, and the alien taught them how to reverse engineer the UFO, which then allowed the Nazis to create their two greatest inventions of WWII: the V1 rocket and the flying saucer. When the great Nazi scientists came to America after WWII, they gave us their plans for the flying saucer, but we didn’t know how to fly it so we crashed it at Roswell. Then we figured out how to make stealth planes. By the way, we taught the Japanese all of our technology but all they can do is make it smaller. This guy should lecture at MIT.


At this point, we basically ran from this guy because he was crazy, and I suggested we go to the donut shop he recommended. But again, the donut shop wasn’t good enough for my pretty boy roommate, so we kept walking towards to the train station. We kept passing all of these great looking restaurants, but they were all closed. Every. Single. One of them. Now it’s around 10:20 and we’re at the train station and we still haven’t eaten. And our train leaves in 20 minutes. I thought I saw a sign for an open place down the road and started walking that way, but yet again, roommate with his fancy phone says we should go to this place that’s in a different direction. I bet you know what happened next. Yeah, it was closed. And I was pissed.

Finally, I was about to kill my roommate, and I stormed off in the direction of the other place I saw. What do you know; it was a donut/sandwich shop that’s open 24/7. Hallelujah. But this is where I was really retarded. My roommate came in and suggested we go to the Irish pub next door to get fish and chips. Why I listened to him, I have no idea. We walked over there only to find out their kitchen was closed. So we walked back to the donut place, and ordered sandwiches. Unfortunately, I think the owner of the shop had some pretty severe OCD, because he would only make our sandwiches if we each alternated telling him one ingredient at a time, and when we switched places at the counter, he freaked out. I legitimately thought he was going to start over. Meanwhile, the train was boarding…

We grabbed our sandwiches to go, and booked it to the train station. Luckily it hadn’t left yet, otherwise I wouldn’t have a roommate anymore. At least I got a good sandwich that satisfied my hunger.

Images courtesy of:
http://t3.gstatic.com/
Google Images

Carlin with Experiences to Avoid if Possible