I’m really impressed with the NYPD so far

When I was up in NYC I visited the Occupy Wall Street crew and was amazed at the time to see a super involved police presence there. Of course I expected to see cops, but the sheer number of them and the amount of barriers and mobile command centers at the time seemed a bit excessive. I had feared something bad would happen and escalate into a brutal battle between the cops and occupiers.

But instead so far, what I’ve seen is the exact opposite. The cops have been acting as I (and I would assume you) would like them to act. They have been respectful and have used force appropriately when they have needed to. Lets face it, they do have a job to do and full anarchy isn’t something that any of us want in our cities. But from what I’ve seen they have shown a lot of restraint and allowed protests to occur.

This video is a good example of what I am talking about. It happened a couple of days ago and the few times you see cops using force, it appears to me that they are simply breaking up isolated fights amid incredible chaos.

This, of course is the exact opposite to what we’ve seen in California. What we all need to understand is that this is America and not China. This is a place where we not only accept protest but we encourage it. We welcome debate and our citizens all would fight to the death to protect peoples freedom to speak and gather in mass.

Be the Change

So I’ve been visiting, supporting, watching and posting about the occupy movement for a while now but I don’t know that I’ve actually explained what my excitement and support is all about. The reason is simple and if you’ve followed my blog at any time in the last 5-10 years (examples here, here, here and here) you would see that there was a general thread to most of my political/social posts and that’s this thought about the fact that everything is really messed up in America and we need to get off our asses and do something about it. I’ve been calling for mass unity in the form of : protests, voting, letter writing, blogging, etc. in hopes that we could incite some real change.

I was a huge supporter of Barack Obama because he promised to be the change that I was hoping for. Of course I won’t vote for him again now because obviously his campaign was a lie and he really wasn’t about change at all (or I can give him the benefit of the doubt and say he is simply ineffective). But we need change in America.

And so we have these occupiers. I am so impressed that people finally are gathering in mass and complaining about something. Sure, they are disorganized and complaining about ‘everything’ and there is no clear message coming out of them, but the key thing is that people are finally ‘taking to the streets’ and trying to effect change using their bodies instead of just complaining on Twitter and Facebook. This is special, this is unique, this needs to be supported.

But they have a huge problem right now. Well, they have many, but one of the biggest that I see is that they are a perceived (and rightly so) as a bunch of anarchist, tattooed, dirty, jobless kids. Their handmade signs and their dirty clothes and their piercings do nothing to gain the real support of middle america, or even the support of people like you.

There are people like you and I who have jobs, who have money saved up, who pay their mortgages on time, who are ‘responsible’ who 100% agree with the fact that we need to make some changes in America and we feel powerless to do it. Sure we (for the most part) vote and participate in civic responsibilities but that’s not doing much. We need to get out there and be counted physically. We need to be part of this movement.

I had this idea today and I wanted to share it with you in hopes that you would join with me in making it happen.

I want to set up a booth at Occupy Philly. I’ve got a spot picked out right next to the Ron Paul booth (smart people those Ron Paul supporters). I want to have this booth manned 24 hours a day by ‘responsible’ people like you and I. People who are taking a day off from work, dressed nicely and media friendly. I want our signs to be well made and clear. I want us to have a unified message. Something like “I have a job. I have some money. But I’m still in the 99% and I want change”. I want us to solicit media interviews and gather momentum. I want America to see that the Occupy movement is more than a bunch of dirty hippy slackers.

I feel that this change, this wrinkle in the current Occupy movement could be transformative and it could bring the movement one step closer to its goal.

To start this off I will buy the table, chairs, tent, whatever we need. But I need bodies. I need people to get in there with me. This is a wonderful chance for us to be heard. I know you all want this as much as I do. I know you all want this change. Be the change with me!

One Bit Full Adder on a breadboard

Here’s a nice photo (and video) demonstrating the construction of a 1 Bit Full Adder out of relays. This is the first prototype build towards the ALU. I had a great time building this and it was really cool to see it work.

Tv Fall 2011

I’ve seen almost all of the new shows this season and I’ve a couple I think I like that I want to tell you about. But first, I have to say something I seem to say every season.

Why cancel a new show after just one (or two) episodes? Why even make the thing in the first place? It seems like networks don’t want to take the time to let shows build audiences. Cheers, The Simpsons and Seinfeld are three great examples of shows that did very poorly at first but then audiences found them and the rest is history. This season you’ve got “How to be a Gentleman” (something I could see growing into something) canceled after 1 episode, “Free Agents” (a show I really thought was quite good) cancelled after 3, “Playboy Club” (did not see but still, how bad could it have been?) after 1 episode, and I’m sure there are going to be others. Now, of course not all of these shows will be successful, but still, what’s the deal with the quick cancellations?

I don’t know the money part of things but it seems like maybe the networks could have these shows move to online only instead of using up the precious air time. I don’t know.. It just seems really lame to dump shows so fast.

Ok. Well, whatever. Rant over.

Of the new shows left, so far I like Suburgatory, Homeland, American Horror Story and Person of Interest.

Suburgartoy will probably get cancelled because it’s title is impossible to spell and pronounce but so far I’m digging it. It’s cute and funny and has some heart. It’s not ‘must watch’ tv but its fun.

Homeland has only had one episode so far but it was a good one. Clare Danes’ character is awesome and she plays her really well. Mandy Patakin is great so far as well. The thing I wonder about is weather the story will hold up for a season or two. The plot seems to be kind of one dimensional but it could grow. There is some good acting and the fact that its on Showtime tells me that it’s going to have some quality.

American Horror Story is a fun show. Yes, there has been much written about this show already and people are saying how its ultra cliche but I like it anyway. I think that’s kind of its charm. I like the style of it and I like the fearlessness of the content (sex, violence, etc).

Person of Interest at first was something I wasn’t too happy with at first. I didn’t like the whole ‘mysterious’ part of it, especially the Finch character but the second episode really filled things out and made me happy. I kind of feel a little bit like Reese is an Equilizer type character. If you remember that show… I like that its set in NYC and it really shows off the city. It’s clearly shot there and not on some backlot and I love that. Each episode seems to be mostly self contained so they move fast and take shortcuts but I’m ok with it. I really like seeing Reese kicking ass.

Also, I should say that “2 Broke Girls” is a decent sitcom if only so I can watch Kat Dennings. I’m also enjoying Whitney but I think it’s going to get cancelled.

Looking forward to season 3 of Bored to Death on HBO. Last season was really entertaining. Also the first episode of Season 3 of The League was last week and it was hysterical! FX really kicks some ass lately.

Also on my Season Pass list is Survivor (not that great this year but still ok), How I Met Your Mother, Always Sunny, and the always fun Big Bang Theory.

Am I done with Facebook?

I really can’t stand using facebook anymore. They really made the web UI way too complicated. And on top of that I don’t have any idea of privacy anymore. So many things have changed that I don’t know where things I post are going. I’ve got status updates from my friends showing up everywhere but where I want them, the email notifications are all messed up now, and the newsfeed is a fucking disaster that I imagine I could fix by going into each friend and selecting a level of how much I want to hear from them but I’m not going to do that.

Then there’s the fact that where ever I go on the web Facebook knows. And don’t tell me they don’t. Almost every site has FB integration set up so when I see some content I get this ‘these friends like this place too’ stuff going on that lists my friends! You know that means that FB knows where I am. This isn’t cool and I think it goes too far.

I know I could just live a public life and then I’d be happy, but even then do I want FB to rule the world? Do I want to contribute to their dominance? Not really.

What do I get out of facebook anymore anyway? I’ve thought about this. I can (and do) now share a lot via G+ and I could do more on Twitter. I barely go on the FB website so I don’t really know what my friends are up to anymore and I’m finding I’m ok with that. But that’s not 100% true. What if they share something cool like photos of some party I was at? I’d never see them. This is a bummer that I’d have to learn to live with.

I think the biggest thing I would miss is the integration with my android phone. I have icon photos of most of my contacts and that’s still provided by facebook. I don’t know why it’s not from google but its not and I would miss that a bunch. Then there’s the phone number and contact integration that FB provides to android as well. I’d loose that too.

But I have to say that more than any time previous I am considering dropping FB completely.