October 24, 2006

The opposition of parties

For the last year or so, I have observed an opposition that occurs every weekend on the U of M campus.... parties. They happen every weekend, whether it be at a frat house (boo), a house, or the dorms. So, what is the opposition you say? Well, if you've ever been to a party that got busted, it should be obvious. The opposition I am referring to is the police vs. party people. Many college students like to party, and they like to party a lot, hence the parties every weekend. Needless to say, there is usually massive amounts of alcohol consumption at these parties. At most parties, many of the people drinknig are underage, which is illegal. So, here is where the police come into play. This year, U of M and Minneapolis police have a program called "Party patrol." Every weekend, officers are sent out in squad cars to specifically bust big parties. They bust parties, give out underage drinking citations, and even sometimes "noisy assembly" citations to complety sober people at parties. It used to be that police would arrive at a party and bust it after a neighbor or someone called the police, usually because of the noise or property damage like public urination. Now, however, nobody needs to call the police for a party to get busted. So, the opposition consists of college students who want drink, party, and have a good time, but on the other hand, police don't want parties getting out of hand and underage people to be drinking. What should be done about this opposition? It obviously angers many sutdents who get cited, it angers neighbors, and it occupies much of the police force and tax money. My resolution to this opposition is to completely remove the "party patrol" program, and go back to the original way of busting parties, which is from call-ins. The officers on party patrol have much more serious crimes to attend to, such as the high rate of campus assaults this semester, not to mention the high rate of murder this year as well. I think that police should arrive at parties only when a neighbor or someone calls 911 to complain about the party. This actually gives them a reason to bust the party. How important are a few 19 and 20 year-olds drinking, dancing, and playing beer-pong, when there are assaults, murders, and theft happening all over the campus and city every weekend? This is the question that students, police, and residents must ask themsleves when considering this opposition of police vs. parties.

The phenomenon of music

The phenomenon that I will be dicussing is music. Music, obviously, is all around us. It exists in every corner of the world and in every culture. When one analyzes and studies music, it indeed is an amazing phenomenon. It can easily be related to the "things, frameworks, and clockworks" perspective of phenomena. The things that make up music are plentiful, such as instruments, voices, notes, directors, production, mixing, remixing, soundtracks, and many more. These are the physical things that music is made up of and that come out of music. The frameworks of music are the things that surround it. For example, political messages in music such as the common case for the rock band Rage Against the Machine, are frameworks of music. Here is a picture of Rage Against the Machine, which was obviously one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
rage.bmp
Through music, artists can express themselves and their views and any topic. Another possible framework is the culture that surrounds a certain type of genre of music. An example of this framework is the hip-hop culture, and how it has evolved from the original hip-hop music of the 1980's. Clothing, dance, rap battling, beatboxing, and DJ's are a few examples of the frameworks that surround hip-hop music. Music invlolves many clockworks as well. In almost any type of music, there are repeated notes and rhythms. Often in techno music, beats and sounds will be looped over and over throughout the entire song. Also, in many music genres, the chorus is sung multiple times over the course of the song. Music is an everyday and universal phenomenon that can be analyzed using things, frameworks, and clockworks.

September 30, 2006

Tobacco

I started skateboarding when I was 11 years old. It has been a large and influential part of my life for the past 8 years. There were always a few kids in the neighborhood that I would skate and become friends with. We would usually skate in the street in front of one of our houses. There were also certain "skate spots" in the neighborhood that we would go to and skateboard at. The most common spot was a parking lot on the side of a tobacco store called "TOBACCO" that was about a mile from my house. So, we would always refer to this spot as Tobacco.

Here is an image of Tobacco from Google Earth, since I unfortunately don't have a picture of it.

Tobacco.jpg


During the summers of junior high, my friends and I would skate up to Tobacco almost everyday. We would go up there mainy to skate, but we would also hang out, eat food from Walgreens, and go mess around inside Rainbow Foods. these two stores were in the same lot as Tobacco.

The Genius Loci of Tobacco is all about childhood and friendship. It's about growing up with friends and having fun. It's about spending countless summer days on a skateboard with no responsibilities or worries. This place meant so much to me and still does. When I go back there, I can feel it. I can feel the meaning of it. The memories start to come back, but not all of them, not even close. There are too many to remember. I do remember what this place was to me, though. It was skateboarding. It was friends. It was innocence. It was happiness. It was pride. It was home.

September 22, 2006

Too much traffic

When thinking of social-design issues, one that comes to mind is traffic congestion. Having lived in the Twin Cities metro area, I have experienced traffic congestion many times. The most common occurences of traffic backup are on the freeways of the Twin Cities. All of the freeways experience this problem, from 94 to 35, and from 494 to 694, it happens everywhere, and usually everyday. Mornings and evenings, specifically from 7 to 9 AM and from 5 to 7 PM are when the traffic is the worst. This is, of course, due to the 9-5 work hours that are common in the metro area, and specifically downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

So, there is this issue. Traffic congestion. What is being done to improve it? Well, in the last couple decades, I have noticed a few things being done. Park-and-rides have been popping up all over the Twin Cities, where people can drive to, park, and jump on the bus to go downtown. My dad used this for a few years and he loved it. Pay a couple bucks to cruise past everyone in the Bus lane and get to work in 10 minutes. The Light Rail that was constructed a few years ago is also a sign that the metro area is aware of traffic congestion.

The solution? Well, there many things that could be done to imporve traffic congestion in the Twin Cities. For one, more light rail lines could be constructed in the metro area, and this is scheduled to happen in the coming years. Also, more park and rides could exist, with even more people riding the bus to work. The main problem with traffic congestion, however, is the suburban sprawl of the Twin Cities. There are currently suburbs in the metro area that are over 30 miles from downtown Minneapolis. People live a half hour away from where they work, and they want to drive their own car to and from work everyday. This obviously results in very busy freeways. Of course, we could build more freeways and strategically locate them, but is this solving the problem or feeding it? Would this encourage suburban sprawl? People need to work closer to their home, or live closer to their work. Another possible solution is to have more office parks, such as the ones in the western suburbs, located around the metro area, so not everyone has to arrive in downtown. The problem with many of the solutions to traffic congestion is lack of funding. Sure, we could build double-layered freeways, but we don't have enough money and the taxpayers sure don't. So, build more park-and-rides, build ore light rail lines, encourage use of mass-transit, strategically build more higways and freeways, and live closer to your job!

September 16, 2006

The energy of the Midtown Market

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The Midtown Global Market is located on Lake Street and Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis. It offers an international variety of fresh foods, restaurants, arts, and crafts.

Dictionary.com's first definition of energy is: the capacity for vigorous activity; available power.

There are many ways in which energy could be created, used, and exchanged at the Midtown Market. Cooking and preparing food is a way in which energy is created. Food is essentially energy, so the buying and selling of food is a way of exchanging energy. The many different languages that are spoken at the market are an obvious way of exchaning energy. Energy is used when people walk through the market and when people ride their bicycle near it. The creation of arts and crafts is a way of creating and using energy. When these arts and crafts are sold, that energy is exchanged to the customer. The restaurants are always full of energy with people eating, talking, serving, cooking, and managing. One way that the energy at the Midtown Market could be used is to record the sound of the market during a busy time of the day and use it in a movie or music. The energy could also be used by filming the market and using it in a movie like a documentary. These are several of the ways in which energy is and could be created, used, and exchanged at the Midtown Market in south Minneapolis.