The Julie Amero Debacle (or Why I’ll never go to Norwich, CT)

Imagine this.  You are a substitute teacher and are surfing the web on the classroom computer only to find a porn popup come up on the monitor.  You try and go to the teachers’ lounge to get help but when you leave the classroom, students see the porn on the computer.  When public officials find out about this, you are charged with a felony of impairing the morals of a child.  After testimony by some idiot of a cyber crime detective named Mark Lounsbury (complete douchebag), a jury convicts you of a crime that is punishable by up to 40 years!

Sounds incredulous, right?  This couldn’t happen in our wonderfully technological society filled with intelligent people who make decisions based on rational thought, right?  WRONG.  It did happen.  It happened in some backwards ass town called Norwich, Connecticut.  The incident happened in 2004.  And the teacher, Julie Amero, was convicted in January 2007.  That’s just last year!  LAST FUCKING YEAR!!!  How does this kind of stuff happen?

Luckily, some intelligent people heard about this case and came to Miss Amero’s rescue.  There was even an ad put in the Hartford Courant signed by 28 computer science professors that all agree that Julie Amero couldn’t control the porn popups.  This case dragged on until just a few days ago when Miss Amero finally agreed to a plea bargain where she plead guilty to disorderly conduct and paid a $100 fine.  Unfortunately she has paid a much larger price in that she has lost her teaching credentials and has had her reputation completely tarnished in the process.

How do we prevent this from happening again?  Well, first we need to stop bumbling idiots like Mark Lounsbury from being able to testify and be “expert witnesses” in something they only have mediocre knowledge about.  Second, the prosecutors in this case should have criminal charges brought upon them.  The experts that came to Miss Amero’s defense have also formed a group to bring cases like this to the spotlight in order to educate the public to prevent “bad law”.  Finally, we need to stop being so goddamn uptight and listen to reason.  Anytime someone mentions “the kids”, people tend to lose their minds in some mob mentality.  Strangely, it reminds me of Horton Hears a Who.  Check that movie out if you have the time one day.

blank page at end of wordML document

So I’m doing this XML to wordML conversion using XSLT and there is this annoying blank page at the end of my document.  My code looks like this:

<w:body>
   <wx:sect>
      <w:p>
         <w:pPr>
            <w:sectPr>
               <w:type w:val="continuous"/>
            </w:sectPr>
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         <w:r>
            <w:t>section 1</w:t>
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      </w:p>
   </wx:sect>
   <wx:sect>
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         <w:r>
            <w:t>section 2</w:t>
         </w:r>
      </w:p>
   </wx:sect>
</w:body>

However, all you have to do to avoid the blank page is move the section formatting information from inside the last paragraph of the last section to a sibling node next to the last paragraph node.

<w:body>
   <wx:sect>
      <w:p>
         <w:pPr>
            <w:sectPr>
               <w:type w:val="continuous"/>
            </w:sectPr>
         </w:pPr>
         <w:r>
            <w:t>section 1</w:t>
         </w:r>
      </w:p>
   </wx:sect>
   <wx:sect>
      <w:p>
         <w:pPr>
         </w:pPr>
         <w:r>
            <w:t>section 2</w:t>
         </w:r>
      </w:p>
      <w:sectPr>
         <w:type w:val="continuous"/>
      </w:sectPr>
   </wx:sect>
</w:body>

Tada! Blank page gone and your document still has excellent structure.

daily IM tidbit

(4:07:35 PM) me: in the end, she was a wild stallion
(4:07:39 PM) me: and he had to just let her go
(4:07:45 PM) me: into the wilderness
(4:08:43 PM) friend: lol
(4:08:48 PM) friend: to eat hey
(4:08:53 PM) friend: or whatever wild ponies eat
(4:09:01 PM) me: i think they eat smaller ponies
(4:09:05 PM) me: >.<
(4:09:24 PM) me: it’s a wild pony-eat-pony world out tharrr

Movin on up

So after living with roommates for over 10 years, I’ve finally got a place of my own in Arlington.  It’s a newly renovated efficiency in a medium-rise apartment complex down the street from where I used to live.  I spent most of the past week moving stuff from the old place to the new.  Living by myself is definitely worth the added cost.  All I need is for the internet to be hooked up on Wednesday.  In a way, the old tradition of baking a cake and going over to a new neighbors house has been replaced with the graciousness of my philanthropic neighbors who have kindly let me connect to “linksys” or “dlink”.  I love you neighbor!  The building itself is rather quiet (so far).  I wonder if my watching Dark Knight with the volume on full blast Sunday morning was a rude awakening for anyone?  hehe.

First Look: Dead Space

dead space[/caption]

Since I’ve quit WoW, I’ve ended up playing a bunch of single player games that came out recently.  Dead Space was one of the more hyped games to come out so I thought I’d give it a shot and install this huge sucker.

It starts off like a typical sci-fi action thriller.  You’re on a ship sent to investigate a mining station after radio contact went dead.  You are an engineer-type guy, not they typical commando role that these games normally have you play.  This plays a big part in how the game is actually set up.  The suit you wear is more of a utility suit than a battle armor suit and your initial weapon is a welding tool and not your typical “ZOMG BIG FUCKING GUN” type deal.  I also enjoyed the fact that the perspective is third-person over-the-shoulder as opposed to the standard first-person.

I have to say that while the game’s graphics are quite awesome and the creature hitboxes are complex, I’m not really getting into it at all.  Of course, I’ve only played the initial chapter (I won’t ruin anything with spoilers) so there is probably a lot that I’ve not seen yet.  There are some pretty tense “GOTCHA” moments and some awesome scenery, but nothing’s really captured my long-term attention.  Maybe I’ll change my mind as I continue playing, but I still think it’s definitely worth checking out.

The aftermath

repocrats

 So after this election, after the joys, after the celebrations, after the parties, what are we left with?  A big void until the inauguration in January.  The hope and momentum of the Obama campaign will slowly die down in the next couple of weeks while the anger and frustration of the disenfranchised Republicans will probably last the next 4 to 8 years.  Right now, everyone is just wondering what will happen next.  Will Obama be able to bring about the change he promised?  Will he be able to fix the economy?  Will he bring the troops back from Iraq, just to send them right back to Afghanistan?  

Everyone has ideas of what they think Obama will bring and honestly, that is because so many people have been waiting for a moment like this.  The liberals weren’t too happy with Clinton as he left office, and I don’t think I have to talk about how half the country felt cheated with the Bush/Gore election of 2000.  Then there was the resounding defeat of Kerry by Bush in 2004 which many just could not believe happened.  The left has waited a long time for this election.  However, that long wait has just exacerbated what they think they “need” in this Obama administration.  

I guarantee some people will be disappointed.  I don’t say that because I think Obama will make mistakes (but he’s just a normal guy like you and me, so yea, he’s gotta make a few).  I say that because it’s just impossible for him to meet the demands and dreams of every citizen in this country.  I’m curious myself to see how much “change” he can bring about.  I’d like to see something done about the economy.  I’d like to see something being done about the large special interest groups having the power that they do in Washington.  I’d like to see something being done about the War on Terror and the War on Drugs.  I’d like to see a lot of things.  Do I think I’ll see anything?  Yea, I do.  But I’m optimistic.  Always have been.  That’s partially the reason I supported Obama.  I do believe in bringing about practical change.  If anything, I do think he has changed the landscape for elections and political organizing on the national level for years to come.  I don’t want this idealistic “change” that the nay-sayers keep throwing out in their petulent arguments (eg.  “socialism!” “mandatory government service!” etc.)  All I want is some “change” I can believe in.  And I think Obama will do his best to do it.

YES WE DID!!!

YES WE CAN!  YES WE DID!  Thank you to everyone for not being stupid!  I was really worried about living in a country full of idiots, but I now have some hope =)  Let’s just hope Obama actually does something now.  Let’s see what “change” he can actually produce.

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