Monday, October 30, 2006
The County has updated the method of voting. They are now using the electronic voting machines. They are basically just big computer screens with a wheel and a couple of buttons on it. When you first walk into the voting site, you will be able to test it out, and if you have not used one of these machines before, then I definitely suggest that you go play with the demo first before you walk into the booth. Once you go in a sign in, you will be issued a pin number that will get you into the voting machine. From there, you will then be able to vote for your candidates using the wheel and the accept button. If you click here, you can go to the manufacturer webpage and test out a sample online version of the machine.
It is basically a very simple process and it intended to be, but you just have to be aware...
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Buster Friedman, the new developer of the "New Fry Street" has just applied for a demolition permit to commence demolition on the buildings of the former Mr Chopsticks and Uncommon Grounds. It will be a sad day in Denton when this starts.
Many UNT students can remember their first visit to Chopsticks. Mine was my first semester with my roommate and our Maple friends. We walked over there and I feasted on Beef Fried Rice. We sat in the "outer section" that looked like it used to be a garage or something like that.. Good times..
The Save Fry Street organization (where I am getting this information from) wants to know when demolition actually starts. Contact them at 214-437-2948 and contact Dawn Cobb at the Denton Record Chronicle at 940-566-6879 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to stop by Fry Street to get your last glimpses before the whole district is changed forever.
Leave your comments about your favorite Chopsticks/Uncommon Grounds memories...
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Playboy is currently going around to all of the conference USA schools a clicking photos to create a "Girls of Conference USA" montage in the magazine. Yesterday, they stopped at SMU in Dallas. For those of you who don't know, SMU stands for Southern Methodist University. It is a private university tucked into the heart of University Park neighborhood of Dallas.
Playboy put an ad in the student newspaper calling for ladies to meet up at a hotel across the street from the campus to pose for shots to possibly be placed in the magazine. The University itself is not associated with this at all.
With that said, I think that it is a conflict of interest. They are a religious school and they are required to be held to a higher regard and posing for a magazine like Playboy definitely conflicts with morals. With our culture surrounded with sex as it is, I do not think that students of a religious institution should participate in an activity that promotes sex. The Bible says that we should not have sex before marriage and I think that we should uphold that, especially those who represent a religion, ie: members of the church and students who attend religious institutions such as SMU.
Baylor agrees with this argument and has promised to expel students who participate in these photo sessions. Baylor, a private University in Waco, is affiliated with the Baptist denomination. Their student handbook says, "expression that is inappropriate in the setting of Baylor University and in opposition to the Christian ideals which it strives to uphold." Playboy was going to be at Baylor in 2002 when Playboy was going to do a montage of the "Women of the Big 12."
Let me know what you think...
In the past few weeks, the citizens of North Texas (and the South Central Plains) has been experiencing cooler than usual weather conditions. I think that this is the earliest that I have had to crack out the sweaters from my closet in quite a while. Also, we have received more rain in the past month than we have in a looong time.
This is all thanks to a weather phenonmenon El Nino (translated into english as "The Child" and refers to when Christ was born). El Nino is a major warming of the equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean. El Nino events usually occur every 3 to 7 years, and are characterized by shifts in "normal" weather patterns. The last time that we had an "El Nino year" was 1997-1998.
Researchers are still learning about El Nino. NOAA has put bouys in the waters in the Pacific to gather more data and watch the temperatures to be able to predict this major weather event.
When it comes to linking both La Nina and El Nino (La Nina is the exact opposite of El Nino where the waters are cold in the Pacific and brings a wamer than normal winter to Texans) the jury is still out. Researchers have not totally "figured out" global warming, but it may be possible to link these in the future.
All of this probably doesn't mean a lot to many of you and are totally bored by now, but it is something interesting to know and you can impress all of your friends by explaining why it is colder sooner than usual.. FUN!
It is now time to take action. Early voting in the State of Texas has started. It is important to take this time to go vote to let your voice be heard. The key position being fought for this season is the coveted Governor for the Great State of Texas. You have read about them, heard about them, watched the debate that they participated in, and now it is time to take action and let your voice be heard. Below are links for the blogs that I wrote about each candidate, read over them and check out their website to refresh your memory and then go vote:
Perry : http://dlm0078.blogspot.com/2006/09/part-4-of-4-gov-rick-perry.html
For voting locations, google your specific county and then look for their Elections page. If you are in Denton County, their website is : http://elections.dentoncounty.com/go.asp?Dept=82&Link=894
This page gives dates, times, and locations of polling places. This week, you can go to the Carroll Building (right off of the Square) between 8 and 5pm to vote Monday - Friday, and you can also go 7am-7pm on this Saturday and 1-6pm on Sunday. It is located at the corner of Carroll and Mulberry.
This is an important time in Texas politics. There are some changes that could stand to be made and the only way that WE can do anything about it is to take this time to vote.
When you go to vote, you can take your Voter Registration Card or just your Drivers License. It is that simple.
Remember, we have people out there fighting for this right to vote and we should respect them by practicing this right.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I don't know why they chose to do it, but ABC decided to send Diane Sawyer, from Good Morning America, to North Korea. She did her first broadcast from there this morning and will do reports for GMA and World News Tonight at 530pm. She is one of 300 foreigners in a country of 23 million. When she got off of the plane, she had to give up her cellphone, BlackBerry and any other device that can be used to communicate with the outside world. They were issued North Korean cellphones, but I am sure that they are bugged. This is one of the few times that a Western journalist has been allowed into the country.
This all comes at a bad time because over the weekend, the UN has issued sanctions on North Korea and today, Kim Jong Il has considered these sanctions placed by the UN are an act of war. I would not want to be there during all of this.
You can watch her reports on ABC from 7-9am (on Ch 8 here in the Metroplex) and at 530pm on World News Tonight. She is also keeping a blog and will be posting reports online.. check out the GMA website here. Good luck to you Mrs. Sawyer... you will need it..
Picture credits: GMA website.. behind Sawyer is a statue to Kim Jong Il's father...
This is an exciting event for my friends over at Southwest Airlines. President Bush has signed off on the repeal of the Wright Ammendment and also they received the nod from the FAA, which now allows them to start selling thru-tickets for flights from Dallas Love Field to destinations outside of the 9 Wright states. Starting this Thursday, October 19th, they will add 25 destinations from Love Field (with an introductory fare of $99 with a 14-day advance purchase) that will be a single stop, thru flight. Some of these cities will include:
Phoenix, Baltimore/Washington DC, Las Vegas, Chicago Midway, Los Angeles International (LAX), Orlando..
They will also be using their codeshare with ATA Airlines to have flights from Love Field to NY LaGuardia, Maui and Honolulu, HI.
100 new destinations will be added over all. Schedules have to be adjusted and modified to allow for all of this expansion at Love Field.
Also, Rapid Rewards members (their Flyer Miles Program) will receive double credit for any travel that either begins or ends at LUV.
The SWA PR representative also said that they will be working with the City of Dallas to refurbish the Airport and add new amenities.
He also said that SWA has enought planes to take on the load right now, but they will be looking to add 8% more planes (35 total) to their fleet to accomodate this new addition pending customer demand.
They are stressing that they are the leaders in low prices in the airline industry and that when a customer is considering flying anywhere, they should choose the Leaders in low fares opposed to those who follow the industry in low fares (this was in direct reference to American Airlines).
They will have more information on their website and will start sales to these new destinations on Thursday, so you will be able to see what schedules are available then. Their web address is: www.southwest.com Check them out!
Dallas has a new DJ on 106.1 KISS-FM. Drum roll please...... It is Atom Smasher! YAY! (sarcasm). I was scrolling through the stations one day last week, and I heard a familiar voice on KISS. He was hitting on a girl on air, looking at her info on Myspace and then trying to get her to be his "friend" on Myspace. He has made the move north to the Metroplex after being canned from the Morning Show at 104.1 KRBE. Check out McGuff for the details... Basically, Cumulus, the company that owns KRBE was done with Atom and Maria and wanted to participate in the DJ switcheroo by replacing them with former KHMX DJ's Roula and Ryan who were replaced by former KRBE DJ Sam Malone. I know, it doesn't make much since does it? Rather confusing yes, but I guess that the radio market is really fluid... It happens.. I just thought that I would share this if there were any Atom fans out there...
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Upon hearing of it, almost every country has criticized North Korea and Il for performing these tests. President Bush is trying to work with the UN Security Council to create sanctions on North Korea because of these tests. Ironically, fellow Communist state China is condemning these acts. However, they are just worried about the fallout of people who will immigrate to China for safety if North Korea does end up going to war.
After hearing of all of this, I am reminded of the Cold War when the United States was in an arms race with the Soviet Union. Images of children practicing air raid drills in schools popped into my head. Is this something that the people of my generation will have to deal with? It may. Will World War III break out because of all of this, amidst the Battle on Terror? It may.
The more that I think about it, the scarier it gets because there is nothing that we can do to protect ourselves from a nuclear attack. There really isn't. We can dig a hole in the ground and surround ourselves with concrete, until the area clears, but is it even reasonable to put people in the ground like that and have them survive like that? I know that I would go stir crazy after a day or two. I go stir crazy sitting in an office building for 8 hours a day.
If World War III occurs, will there be mass callups like there was with the preceding global wars? Will the nation actually stand behind the President if we were actually to go to war with North Korea?
These are all questions that we will possibly facing if anything else major develops with this situation. It may not be soon, but it also may not be that far away. It will just depend on how Kim Jong Il pushes the issue of nuclear testing and he resists the controls that will be placed on him for his actions.
In this instance, can we look upon history for help? I am not sure. We can see what happens when 2 countries compromise (with the help of a change in government), but with this situation, I don't think so.
While they were here, they interviewed the new Mayor of Denton, Perry McNeil. He was recently elected in May. He told WFAA that the City of Denton has experienced a great period of growth in the last 20 years; 70K people in 1980 to 108K now in 2006.
The City of Denton is also growing in other ways too with a new hospital (Presby Denton), a new retail shopping center on Loop 288 and a new development at US 380 and IH-35. In addition, there have been a lot of new neighborhoods sprouting up across the area which will keep people in our area.
One thing that we are having a problem with is traffic and mobility. This past may, the DCTA (Denton County Transit Authority) of which the City of Denton is a member, has started a bus line that departs from various points in the city (primarily UNT and a stop at Cinemark) that makes stops in Lewisville, Carrollton and has 8 stops in Downtown Dallas. The city is also working on a new train line that will be apart of the DCTA system and will give us with a light rail system that will also connect us with the DART system in Dallas County and with the TRE, which connects Dallas with Fort Worth. The City also has its own bus line, which hopefully will become more popular as we try to reduce the amount of gas being used. It should be noted that the DCTA buses the new biofuel that is made in the City of Denton with the trash produced by the citizens along with the grease from our local favorite restaurants.
One thing that I thought was cool was that McNeil wants to add an additional "D" to "DFW." He said that if we continue on our current rate of growth, we will be the 3rd largest city in the Metroplex. We are no longer a bedroom community, as there are more companies that are opening for business in Denton and more people are living here and also working here too.
I think that it is a great time to be in the City of Denton because we are getting to watch this "small town" grow into a great city. The City Council should be applauded for their great planning with this transition. They are making great strides to make sure that we have the infastructure to be able to handle the influx of new people and new services that are being provided to the community.
For more info on the City of Denton, you can go to their website at www.cityofdenton.com and for the WFAA bustour, go to www.wfaa.com/bustour. Today they are in Lewisville and will be in Southlake tomorrow..
Monday, October 09, 2006
This weekend, the Mean Green played Florida International at Fouts Field. It was our Homecoming and it was a great day. The weather was beautiful! The game started out great, we got a safety in first few minutes and a touchdown not soon after. We got another and FIU finally caught up. At the end of the game, it was 21-21. In the final minutes of the fame, FIU got to the endzone and initially, the ref's called a touchdown for FIU, but the guy went out at the 1 yard line. They reviewed the play, and the ref corrected his mistake. So we went into over time and I thought that it was kinda cool because I have never been to a game where we had to go into over time. I did not really know how it all played out, so it was interesting to see. After the 4th OT period, I was annoyed. They both kept kicking field goals and missing them. It was crazy. In the last OT period, FIU almost got it in, but thank the big guy upstairs, our kicker finally made it in winning the game and ending the never ending game (it lasted 4 and 1/2 hours!). Afterwards, I marched with the Talons over to the Clock Tower where we counted down the bathing of the clock tower in green light. We sang the Fight Song and the Alma Mater. It was a good time. I am glad that we won.. It would have been really sad if we would have lost our Homecoming Game.. You just don't do it..
If you watched it, you saw how Kinky pretty much avoided a lot of questions and seemed unprepared. One of the things that I remember from his rants was that he wanted to declare Martial Law in the counties that surround the border. That is just crazy, and although may help with the immigration problem, what will happen with the citizens of that area? I know that if I were living in that area and Martial Law was instituted, I would freak out. Those riles should only apply in a time of war with another country, and although this is kinda true, I think that it is a little too radical of a move.
I really enjoyed the period where they asked the candidates Jeopardy style questions like : When was the battle at the Alamo, How much is a semester of tuition at UT, How long do unemployment benefits last, etc. It was great to see the response. I did not like however how certain candidates took this 15 seconds to throw more rhetoric at us. That was not the purpose of that time and they wre just looking for the answer, nothing else.
I also enjoyed the direct questioning of Gov. Perry about TTC (Trans-Texas Corridor). I don't think that he has ever been asked directly about it and forced to answer. Sarah Lucero from San Antonio asked him why voters did not get to vote on it, and he said that we did. I don't buy that answer and it was probably hidden in some other parts of legislation. Strayhorn said that voters only voted on the discussion (or something like that) and that it was not for the corridor itself (I didn't understand what Strayhorn was talking about).
But like I said, it was good to see where the candidates stood and see how the reacted to questions from reporters and from voters. It is jsut too bad that there will not be any more debates so we can try to get a better feel for our candidates. I guess we will just have to rely on the print media to take care of that.
For more details on the candidates, please click on the month of September and read the blogs about each candidated and their stances on hot topics.. To watch the debate, click here
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Bonfire is deeply rooted in our traditions as it has been around since 1927 when a bonfire was first built for the ETSU/NTSC game. It was initially on Avenue A on the pavement. The Eagles won the game that night. During the War, bonfire was not held due to the lack of men on campus. In 1950, the bonfire was moved to Fouts to commemorate the opening of the stadium. NTSC President at the time, WJ McConnell (for which McConnell Hall is named) lit the bonfire.
In the 1960's, the University gave Bonfire duties to the Talons, the Organization that preserves the spirit of NT. It is then that they start having Talons stand guard at the bonfire site because in 1960, pranksters lit the stack on fire early. The Talons rebuilt a new stack the next day in time for the festivities that night. In the late 80's, they had additional early firing attempts and also "tagging" by a Greek organization because they put their letter on the stack along with a chair.
In the 70's, Bonfire was moved from Fouts to the Eagle Point site where it is still held today. It is a major part of the Homecoming festivities and is lit on the Friday before the Football game right after the Yell Like Hell competitions and a speech from the team.
It is quite a sight and can create great memories when you add a good group of friends into the mix.
And that is your UNT Traditions lesson for today... Discover the Power of Green!
Source: Talon's Website
Well, there is a new station in town. Early in September, with the oncoming of the CW, which replaced the WB, UPN was wiped from the networks and our local UPN affiliate, KTXA CH 21 in Dallas, is now an independent, or as they like to say, As Independent As Texas. This means that they do not have a network affiliation. As true as it is, it is still kinda not, because they are CBS O&O (Owned and Operated) and while I was watching the Prime Time News last night, I saw the CBS Eye logo in the background, which I thought was weird, being that they are supposed to be "independent." It was a good newscast from what I saw of it. It was a very laidback newscast though. It was professional, but with a laidback feel to it. They have the anchor desk and all of that, but for the intros to the segments, it was pretty casual.
This is the first Independent Network that I have watched before. Not to say that I am an avid Ch. 21 watcher, but usually all of the networks that I flip through have some affiliation to a major TV network. It is kinda cool, but all they show besides locally produced news is syndicated TV shows, so there is nothing special about it.
It will be interesting to see what will happen with KTXA in the future. CBS owns 3 other independent stations (which I am sure came about after the fallout of UPN and the whole CW business). However, it is interesting to note that prior to becoming a CBS affiliate, KTVT-CH 11 was an independent itself, so I am sure that some staffers from there can help out KTXA if needed (if people from that time period are still around being that happened in 1995). We shall see what happens..
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Patrick Duffy was on the Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio this morning promoting his theater performance in London. It was an interesting interview. You can go to the website to listen to it... Click on the Christian O'Connell link above and go to Daily Bits and it is about 45 minutes into the show. The highlights from the interview include:
Calling himself a slut.. in terms of acting, taking a job, getting paid and then being kicked out the door
Confirming that Shirley MacLaine would be Ms. Ellie Ewing in the upcoming Dallas Movie
Luke Wilson will be taking the role of Bobby Ewing
When asked if he would make an appearance on it, he said no and that it shouldn't be that way..
John Travolta received the approval from the Original JR, Larry Hagman
He is playing Baron Hardup in Cinderella at the New Victoria Theatre in the South East of England (basically London). It was interesting to hear him on a British Radio Station..
In other Dallas related news, IMDB has it rumored that Marica Cross is to play the role of Pamela Ewing. I don't know if she is the right person to play Pam. Pam requires somebody soft and gentle, and going from her Desperate Housewives role, I think that it would just be weird to she her play something so extremely opposite of what she normally plays.
That's all I got for now..
KLTV, the ABC affiliate in Tyler-Longview (DMA 111) is protesting against The View and Rosie O'Donnell because of a statement that she has made about Christians:
"radical Christians are as dangerous as radical Muslims"
The General Manager has gone on air with an editorial asking viewers to write into the Station and into ABC to proclaim that she is being a bully and request that they take either her or The View off of the air. (Interestingly, there was a similar issue last night on NBC's Studio 60).
This is a little crazy. Last time that I checked, this is still America, she is an American, and she has the right granted by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution to say what she did. I am not saying that she was right in her statement, nor do I agree with it directly, but they should not pull a show off of the air because of such a statement. She has the right to say it.. That is her opinion. These people in Tyler/Longview should take this "View" and accept it as such and move on. It is OK to hear what other people have to say. You do not necessarily have to agree with it, but as Christians, we should listen to what other people have to say and then talk through the thoughts and find out why they think that way and then try to come to some understanding with each other. It is just that simple. Just because she made a controversial comment does not mean that huge changes need to be made. If you are offended that much, I have one solution for you: change the channel. Stop trying to "protect" everybody from other people's opinions that they have the right to listen to.
Thanks to Nathan and Diana for the tip!
Bush has said that he will sign the Wright Repeal bill that was passed by both the House of Reperesentatives and by the Senate. This means that as soon as he signs the bill and it gets a nod of approval from the FAA, then SWA can begin selling tickets for destinations outside of the Wright States. Behind the scences now, SWA is beginning to establish new routes and flight numbers that will begin this new process of flying longer distances from Dallas's Love Field. The rule says a flight must make a pitstop first in a "Wright" state before they can continue onto a "non-Wright" state. The main cities that SWA is looking to expand to right now are Las Vegas and Florida (Mainly Orlando for Disney World). They will be doing this through other hubs, Houston Hobby, Austin Bergstrom and San Antonio International will be the big dogs in Texas. For the Southeast, Armstrong International in New Orleans will be a major gateway, Alberquerque will be the gateway for the West and Southwest, KC and St Louis will be the gateway for the Midwest and for the Northwest, DAL travelers will have to go through either Houston Hobby or KC/St Louis to Chicago Midway and make another connecting fight to the Northeast. It is all exciting and I cannot wait for my first flight on SWA on destinations outside of the oppessed and outdated "Wright" states.