Tracy’s Random Thoughts, September 2006 edition

Hello everyone,

Sorry, summer is over, but guess what? Fall is here and I am one happy man, but before I’m happy, I need to rant on a couple of things:

1. Katrina and 9/11 Anniversaries

The past few weeks, we’ve been honoring heroes and remember the victims of both Katrina and 9/11. I’m a big believer in fate, and I think these two had meaning in different ways.

On 9/11, yes I think it was tragic for our country and gutless for the terrorists killing innocent people to take an order. But was that forthcoming? Before 9/11 and after the Soviet Union broke up, the United States were at top of the world and we felt we were invincible. 9/11 change I don’t think our daily lives, but opportunity of the worst kind. After 9/11, we heard all these reports of future attacks of bioterrorism, Anthrax, Muslim domination, conspiracy theories, scared families, etc. This is where I believe Bush and his administration shined. By not hunting for Osama Bin Laden, the administration (That includes Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rove, and Bush being the last line) brainwash us convincing that Saddam Hussein was part of Al-Qaeda. Thus, the War in Iraq began and convinces some Americans the war was for the better. Instead, the war jumped gas prices, thousands of soldiers killed, and we took the bait. Another part of 9/11 is this raise in Christian faith. If it wasn’t for 9/11, religion would have been a secondary issue. But it happens and forces some people that Christianity solves all issues. When the “GOP is for God and Democrats is for Satan” issue came in the elections, who won? You guess it, the GOP. I’m a Catholic, so I believe in God, but using religion as an issue and take advantage of an opponent; that is just wrong, just boldly wrong. 9/11 was the worst of times because of the actions. 9/11 brought the best of times when heroes rise and we had a purpose in life. All of those were true, but 9/11 brought in reality that the world is getting smaller, diversity is a must, and opportunities come knocking, either good or bad.

On Katrina, I’ve seen Hurricane Andrew rip Florida almost 15 years ago. Katrina was Andrew, but worse. At first, I laughed at the coverage because people were standing in the hurricane for no purpose and only to get a good shot. But, when I saw the Superdome leaked and the roof blown off, I knew this is going to look bad? Bad is a terrible term to use; I would say the damage was cancerous. New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast were underwater from not only Katrina, but the broken levees. It was sad that New Orleans became from a vibrant city to a ghost town. For a long time, people didn’t have homes, had to live in trailers, move to different cities and go into a different environment. Right now, New Orleans has improved, but it has a long way to go. The French Quarter is almost set and downtown looks complete, but the “lower-income” areas, like the Ninth Ward, is still in shambles and the city doesn’t know what to do. It will take almost 10 years to rebuild, but New Orleans has been reborn after Katrina. People view it as a culture, not a place where Girls Gone Wild! is taped. And the city does act like a community. As I mention before, I believe in fate; New Orleans was a place to have reckless fun, but sometimes carnage gives a reason why people love to stay in New Orleans. When New Orleans realizes their culture carried their community, they realize something good is happening. One year later, New Orleans is vibrant for the right reasons and hope. I know this sounds stupid, but if New Orleans had the number 2 pick in the NFL Draft and they selected Reggie Bush, you know fate is on your side. Katrina also meant the global warming theories, but that has been somewhat in the backburner because there have 5 weather disturbances, far fewer from 27 last year. But Katrina brought the issue of alternative energy and greenhouse effects that not only create the storm, but break off a huge pack of ice in Antarctica and Greenland.

2. The Pope’s comments

Pope Benedict XVI in Germany mentions to a class in Germany that Mohammed is evil and he wants to see if he exists. Actually, that was not his phrase (That honor goes to a Byzantine Emperor). But, that was a bad choice of quotes from our Pope. I believe in the Pope and basically I have to follow him since he is the leader of the Catholics, but he crossed the line when he said Muslim/Islam is meaningless. Leaders need to keep an open mind that other religions exist and probably these “Gods” work together. If I were in a public area, 50/50 I might want come to the Pope (the rate should have been 100, but I’m afraid I’m going to get beat up).

3. Facebook

One of my favorite sites is Facebook because it gives a close online community and doesn’t screw up your computer. However, two issues that have raise:

a) News Feeds
People complain that news feeds were invading their privacy. After all the complaints, Mark Zuckerburg, the creator, changes the privacy options. To me, I thought the news feeds were a good idea since I can keep track of my friends, but it was too much to know who got engaged, who attended the parties, etc. That is their business. I want the news feeds to focus on me and me only and that is how a news feed should work.

b) Facebook going public
Facebook announce they are expanding their base to include everyone. Everyone went up in arms, this time, there is no decision yet on expanding (it’s not going public, people). Its all great that Facebook is expanding but the key issue is you are letting everyone in. You are including spammers, porn stars, and advertisers attack the site. Here’s my idea: Facebook should have join with the Social Security Administration to check if each user is legit. Ok, that will cost a lot of money, but I want Mark to have a checklist that in order to be in Facebook, you must have a work address, college email address, high school email address, or a background check for each person register for Facebook. Enough of this “Facebook is losing its community” crap. Hello, you are creating a community with privacy controls.

4. Jaime Gold

For people who don’t know who Jamie Gold is, he won the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event. He won a record $12 million, besting over 8700 players. Of course, the money is going to be tax, so Jaime gets over $6 million. Well, there’s a dark secret: Jaime apparently made a deal with an associate that he can have half of the winnings before day 4 of the event (the day Jaime took the chip lead) (Ok, you are learning too much poker on TV, buddy). After the event, the associate went to the Nevada courts asking for his $6 million. The judge ordered that Jaime’s $6 million to be frozen. Where was Jaime? He went out of the country and came back with this news. A little background on Jaime, he’s a Hollywood producer. That should be enough of why Jaime wanted to keep the $12 million.

5. Strange stories

a) Penis transplant
That is not a typo:

LONDON (Reuters) – Surgeons in China who said they performed the first
successful penis transplant had to remove the donated organ because of the
severe psychological problems it caused to the recipient and his wife. Dr Weilie
Hu and surgeons at Guangzhou General Hospital in China performed the complex
15-hour surgery on a 44-year old man whose penis had been damaged in a traumatic
accident. The microsurgery to attach the penis, which had been donated by
the parents of a 22-year-old brain-dead man, was successful but Hu and his team
removed it two weeks later.” Because of a severe psychological problem of the
recipient and his wife, the transplanted penis regretfully had to be cut off,”
Hu said in a report published online by the peer reviewed journal European
Urology, without elaborating.”This is the first reported case of penile
transplantation in a human,” Hu added.Both the man and his wife had requested
the surgery. He had been unable to have intercourse or urinate properly since
the accident that occurred 8 months before the surgery was performed.Ten days
after the operation, which had been approved by the hospital’s medical ethical
committee, the recipient had been able to urinate.There had been no signs of the
10-centimetre (4-inch) organ being rejected by the recipient’s body. But Hu said
more cases and longer observation are needed to determine whether sexual
sensation and function can be restored.”The patient finally decided to give up
the treatment because of the wife’s psychological rejection, as well as the
swollen shape of the transplanted penis” Hu added. In a commentary in the
journal, Yoram Vardi, of the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, said the
successful surgery represents an additional step in contemporary medicine.But he
added that careful patient selection is required as well as thorough informed
consent of the patient and his family.”Satisfactory consideration of these
issues must be taken into account so that this approach can be considered a
serious therapeutic option in the future,” Vardi added.

Luckily its the Chinese because if they have a baby, he shouldn’t have an extra urge after that.

b) Pee/Coffee
I do not like coffee, but this really takes the cake as the grossest story ever told. A guy at work has being urinating on coffee. You would think its for 1 day. It’s gross, but its understandable, if you say so. But, the guy has been urinating coffee for 4 months. That’s right; the other co-workers were drinking coffee and the guy’s urine. The guy got fired after knowing the event. I don’t know the details, but why would you pee on a coffee pot? By the way, this is not some kid; this is a 50-ish year old man. Boy, I wonder how old guy pee taste like. Oh wait, the co-workers know how it tastes likes, I imagine its like tea.

6. The Fall Season

The TV Season, the pitch perfect temperature, the color of the leaves, football season, kids roaming into schools, and my birthday in this season. Ah, its good to have Fall back.

That is all for today, you better enjoy autumn or I’ll smack you right upside your head.

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