Monday, March 30, 2009

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

This is who I got to hear speak today. Dr. Morris sent me a link to his work last year.

Got any creative ideas as to how to get students engaged using Web 2.0?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Did You Know

While watching, or when you've finished, what comes to mind? What does this make you consider, to think about, to wonder?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

NCAA Tourney and Crowds

Currently doing some annual reading about Collective Behavior and Crowds. I'm heading to Indianapolis on Friday for three days, lucky enough to catch the Louisville Cardinals play on Friday. And of course if they win, they will play on Sunday.

I'll be posting some pics from the Road to the Big Dance. In the meantime, check out some preliminary reading on Collective Behavior. Pay particular attention to "Theories of Crowd Behavior".

I'll be posting pics as well, and will offer questions through the weekend that you can answer for extra credit.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Soc Peeps: the Lesbian(s) and the Water Fountain

krogerchick on Twitter sent this to me today:

krogerchick@profgesser i saw someone refuse to drink from a water fountain after a lesbian drank from it. absolute chaos! made me think about soc

krogerchick@profgesser a man saw two girls all but makin out in front of the store & he went to get a drink later, but saw 1 girl get a drink 1st.

krogerchick@profgesser he says "i be damned if i is gonna drink outta the same fountain as some homo bitch!" she freaked. crazy.

So, in terms of getting a drink from the same water fountain, what do you think the man was worried about? Why?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Synergy of the Arts..."

I'm currently reading through the Placemaking Initiative report regarding downtown development in Owensboro.

I'm currently President of the Board of Directors at Theatre Workshop of Owensboro, and we were hoping to acquire the Goldie's Opryhouse facility with the assistance of local government.

I have found interesting references in the Placemaking Initiative report about "synergy of the arts", and "historical preservation."

So the question is this: Is requesting $250,000 for the purchasing price for Goldie's too much in the face of a $79 million incentive plan to reinvent downtown Owensboro?

Should a public entity with a proven track record, and as the oldest arts organization in Owensboro, be shown preference to acquire the facility to "synergize the arts"? Or, should local government rely solely on the private sector?

The Turtleman

Would certainly be remiss if I didn't include a link to the Turtleman video that we watched early in the semester.

Posting this for entertainment purposes.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Daviess County Sheriff's Office "Methbuster"

I saw this picture today. This is the car I've spoken about in class. It is no longer in use as a marketing tool.

I believe it was originally donated.
Some questions we have explored in class were regarding the purpose and effectiveness of this vehicle. Does using it as a marketing tool do anything to curve, prevent, or have other impact on meth production and/or use?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Multimedia message

Pic of a painting made at the Nov. 2007 event. Just ended, will edit all posts into one later.
Suggested reading, The Next Form of Democracy
Now discussing deliberative democracy..integrating citizen voices into decision making
Emphasizing systemic solutions for systemic problems.
.highlighting Obama's Memorandum on Open Government: Transparency, Collaboration, and Participation speaking to "Changing the Way Gov. Relates to People".

Multimedia message

..audience member questions
First question is regarding the role of technology in polling and gathering large amounts of data and making sense of it.
Taking questions and comments from the audience.
First question is regarding the role of technology in polling and gathe

This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

Placing significance on public space. What are the public venues for citizen engagement in decision making?
She started out citing the Jeffersonian ideal of by the people, of the people, for the people.
Dr. Lukensmeyer is now speaking. She has great words to say about O'boro's effort.

Multimedia message

Listening to Shelly Nichols, Exec. Dir. of We the People Owensboro. She's currently providing an overview of work conducted over the past two years. More info regarding their work can be found at their website. Will provide that link later, but can be found with a Google search.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Carolyn Lukensmeyer speaking at OCTC

In November 2007, Owensboro held an unprecedented event, the We the People Town Hall meeting, facilitated by the non-profit group AmericaSpeaks.

The founder of AmericaSpeaks, Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, will be speaking at Blandford Hall in the Humanities Building at the community college on Thursday, 3/12.

In addition, an update will be provided regarding the local We the People activities.

The event begins at 7pm, and I do believe that all attendees will find the information meaningful as it relates to Sociology and community politics.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

CNN - Tents on wheels give homeless people roof and pride

Sent from's mobile device from

Tents on wheels give homeless people roof and pride

Brenda Gardenhire shows off her new home with pride. It looks like an oversized shopping cart covered with a khaki canvas. But to her, it's "wonderful" -- a stepping stone to get her off the streets and get her life back in order.

"It's like your own home, your own apartment, your own room," she said, showing off the 7-foot-long living space on wheels. "No one else can come in here but me."

Gardenhire is talking about her makeshift home called an EDAR, which stands for Everyone Deserves A Roof. The units are being distributed to homeless people in the Los Angeles area by the Everyone Deserves A Roof nonprofit organization.

It's the brainchild of "Revenge of the Nerds" movie producer Peter Samuelson, who has spent much of his life working with charities to help impoverished children.

He got the idea to help the homeless in recent years as he rode his bicycle from Los Angeles to the beach at Santa Monica.

On those bike rides, he began seeing more and more homeless people. But he didn't just whiz by. He stopped to talk with them -- 62 people in all. One by one, he listened to their needs and what they wanted most: a roof over their heads. And the idea for the EDAR was born.

"If you had to define the value of a civilization, it's not how many SUVs you've got," Samuelson said. "To me, I think it's how well do we take care of our children, our homeless people, our mentally ill, those less fortunate."

He partnered with the Pasadena Art Center College of Design for a design contest and the current contraption was created. Each unit costs about $500 to make.

The four-wheeled home has an expandable base that stays off the ground and is covered by a canvas, giving it the feel of a tent. It extends 86 inches and is 32 inches wide, thin enough to fit through standard doorways. Each unit has a mattress and sleeping bag to provide comfort. It's also flame-retardant and sturdy enough to keep its occupants dry during heavy rains. A braking mechanism prevents the unit from rolling away at night. They also come with a chain and padlock to prevent it from being stolen.

Samuelson said he initially wanted to build more permanent shelters for all of the homeless people in the Los Angeles area. "But when you do the math, you're looking at $3 billion to get 60,000 people off the damp concrete, and that's just in L.A."

He said the EDAR isn't a perfect solution, but it's a good, economical stopgap. "This is $500 to get a man or a woman or a child off the damp concrete," he said. "I don't think it's the best. ... But for now, I think a little bit of privacy -- not being rained on, not sleeping on the ground, not getting pneumonia from the damp -- has a little bit of value."

Jose Font, 50, agrees. He got an EDAR late last year. He said he's been homeless off and on since 1979. He slept on a tarp with a blanket and worked on computer repairs before he became one of about 60 people to get an EDAR.

"Everybody calls it the hobo condo. Everybody envies me because I sleep on a mattress inside," he said. "It makes me feel like I've got something to come to. It feels more like a home than just a tarp and concrete."

He added, "It's light as a feather when I push it. I can put it anywhere."

Font keeps it locked to a telephone on public property when he's away.

James Ramirez, a social worker with the Venice Community Housing Corporation, said he has been able to use the EDAR as incentive to get people's lives back on track.

"What we're doing is using the EDAR as a carrot for them to come in to see us," Ramirez said. "They want the EDAR because they want to keep dry when it's raining and they want a place to stay at night that's comfortable. So we're using this to connect with them."

"For us, it's working really well," he said. "This is their home. This is what they're proud of at this moment. ... It means a step in the right direction to get back into society."

The EDAR organization says it's starting with baby steps. In addition to the 60 units already given out, another 110 units have been ordered. The units are distributed to shelters, churches and other organizations that help the homeless. Those groups then distribute the units. The EDAR group tries to stay in phone contact with its users every week or two. How you can help

EDAR currently has about 30 people on a waiting list, plus another 10 shelters in the Los Angeles area. The organization is also looking at land provided by a local authority where they could let women and families stay on a site that also has functioning bathrooms.

EDAR has fielded dozens more calls from across the country and around the world about the units. Samuelson said they're "studying what works best" and looking at an array of options.

"People talk about the homeless as if it's some homogeneous group of drunken, unemployed, too-lazy-to-get-a-job men. They're totally wrong. They need to come meet people," he said. "What's the point in having a society if it's devoid of helping people less fortunate?"

He added, "As we raise money, we will get people off the concrete."

For Brenda Gardenhire, that means the world.

"It's a step up to you. It's like you're making progress," she said. "Now, I have me a little place to stay. I'm moving up."

Friday, March 6, 2009

Multimedia message

Has anyone noticed that the new Kroger parking lot was punk'd by innovative stripers, promoting a uni-directional parking design?

"Drugs Erase Your Mind"

a waste of school funds or a lesson for life?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Interesting discussion between Chuck D and Michael Steele (Republican Party Chairman)

This is an interesting discussion about the black experience, identity, and the future political implications.

Report on foodstamps

Saw this on CNN, a report about foodstamps and meeting basic food needs.

Multimedia message

Does this restaurant sign violate cultural norms? Is it odd to see political expressions mixed with pizza?