Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Social Consciousness...

Marx advances this analysis under the rubric false consciousness. How people think about the past is an important part of their consciousness. If members of the elite come to think that their privilege was historically justified and earned, it will be hard to persuade them to yield opportunity to others. If members of deprived groups come to think that their deprivation is their own fault, then there will be no need to use force or violence to keep them in their places.

---James W. Loewen, LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hypothetical Architect

When I was in my teenage years, my only dream was to become an architect. However, I was rudely awaken when I realized that I was not up to par in my Algebra and Geometry courses. As a matter of fact, I was less than "comfortable" with Math in general. It was the subject in which I struggled the most with throughout my high school years. In other words, my hopes of ever becoming an architect were quickly flushed down the toilet. However, the dream that could have been a reality still exists within the realm of my artwork, mostly in my sketchbooks which are filled with imaginary structures, buildings, cities. In the meantime, enjoy one which I sketched on Monday, Jan 7th and was inspired by my recent visit to St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Please click on the picture to get a larger view.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Operation: Mayan Apocalypse 2012

According to "knowledgeable" people who deemed themselves experts on the meaning of the contents of the ancient Mayan Calendar, today (December 21, 2012) is when our beloved planet ceases to exist. Our beloved human race is allegedly scheduled to become extinct effective 5 am (who knows what time zone). By the time I post this blog, it will be 4:43 am Eastern North American time and 10:43 pm in New Zealand. Mind you, their 5 o'clock hour has expired on both am and pm standards. The Apocalypse enthusiasts might just be disappointed today, as they were on May 27, 2012, October 21, 2011, and the most famous date prior to today, January 1, 2000 (the Y2K Apocalypse). This 5 o'clock time frame has expired for all continents except North America and South America. 

I guess this becomes just another one of those days where we all sit back, sip on our ice cold drinks, and are reminded that "those who stand for nothing, fall for anything." I am comforted by my Abba's word rather than the random rants of the people of this world. Matthew 24:36 states: But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. A simple answer to a simple question answered by a mighty God. Have a great day everyone!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Northeast Megalopolis

I have always been amazed by the people and cultures of different cities in the world. But you don't have to get a travel visa to see different cultures in different cities if you live in the Northeastern part of the United States. I have always found it amazing how a one hour drive can make a load of difference in culture. Now before we get into this, let us define the term "Megalopolis". According to Merriam-Webster, a Megalopolis is 'a thickly populated region centering in a metropolis or embracing several metropolises.' I have found that the Northeast Megalopolis is the perfect example of this phenom.

I live right outside the city of Washington, DC in the nearby Maryland suburbs. If I decide to drive 45 minutes to the northeast, I run into the city of Baltimore, a former industrial city on one of the most important bays in the United States, the Chesapeake. This city, although only 45 minutes from DC is culturally, environmentally, and economically different from DC. But if I decide to drive 1 hour and 30 minutes to the northeast, I run into Wilmington, Delaware which happens to be the largest city in the state. However, in comparison the population and feel of most major East Coast cities, it is merely a big town. It is apart of the Delaware Valley Metropolitan Area in which the principle (largest) city is Philadelphia, PA. This city is only 25-30 minutes from Wilmington. I have to say that Philly is one of my favorite cities. It is a very large city of 1.5 million people and scenic with its many city fountains, its exceptional downtown (city centre) area, and the famous Art Museum, in which Rocky Balboa did his famous morning exercise routine. I just simply LOVE Philly.

1 hour and 30 minutes to the northeast of Philadelphia, you run into the city of all cities...the concrete jungle...a city of 8 million people within city limits and a metropolitan population of over 22 million people, New York City is a world class city. I am not much a fan of the crowded environment, but NYC is a marvel once visited and it amazes me every single time I do visit. From the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, United Nations, Central Park, and many more attractions, it is a city to be reckoned with. Maybe that's why New Yorkers have such a huge ego, and some might say that they have that right. Last but not least, drive 4 hours to the northeast and you come into another world class academia city known as Boston, located in the state of Massachusetts. Higher Learning Institutions such as MIT, Harvard, and Tufts Universities call Boston and surrounding areas home. Within the Northeast Megalopolis, Boston is the farthest from any of the previously mentioned cities by car. Boston is the only city within the Northeast Megalopolis that I have not visited yet, but am definitely planning on visiting in the near future.

In conclusion, all these cities are no farther than 4 hours from each other and an average of 2 hours from each other with some closer to each other than that. Some much smaller cities in the area which are apart of the Megalopolis are Annapolis, MD, Camden, NJ, Trenton, NJ, Atlantic City, NJ, Dover, DE, Hartford, CT, New Haven, CT, Providence, RI, Montpelier, VT, and Newark, NJ. There are some more smaller cities that won't be mentioned. The whole megalopolis boasts a population of nearly 45 million people. Of course as the traveler that I am, this is all amazing and interesting information that makes me want to travel even more to explore more parts of the United States and the rest of the world. What amazing place have you visited lately or in the past? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Photoblog 2: Lafayette Square/Park--Washington, DC

Between the 40 hours I give to TransAfrica Forum a week, I occassionally take my lunch break outside the building I work in. It is a very beautiful park and a soothing place to relax while on break. The park is a 2 minute walk from my TransAfrica Forum and it is located right behind the White House.

 The intersection of 16th and H street Northwest.
 The building in which I work.
 TransAfrica (5th floor)
 Inside the building
 TransAfrica Forum1
 TransAfrica Forum2
 Lafayette Park and White House
 Lafayette Park and H Street
 Lafayette Park1
 Lafayette Park2
 Lafayette Park and White House
 Tourists gathered around President Obama's residence
 People enjoying the weather at Lafayette Park
Lafayette Park and H Street

Metrorail: Orange Line extension to Bowie


Now if you are like me, you understand that if one day, Metro ceased to exist altogether, EVERYTHING within the Washington Metropolitan Area would probably shut down. I don't own a car and I depend on the B21/B22 bus to get to and from the campus at BSU everyday. However, there is one itty bitty problem. Passengers are increasing but the bus service isn't getting any better. Buses are always packed like Sardenes and they come only once an hour, despite there being a clear demand for more frequent service between New Carrollton and Bowie State University. So I came up with a proposal.

We have the Orange Line which spans between New Carrollton and Vienna. And then we have the Silver Line which is supposedly supposed to connect the "end" stations in a circular form (kind of in the way the Capital Beltway does). I believe that it is now time to extend the Orange Line to both Bowie and Laurel. Both suburbs are clearly growing by the minute and there is increasing need for commuters in Bowie and Laurel to promptly get to their locations of employment in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia in other cases. The fact that the metro only spans as far as the beltway within Prince George's County is rather absurd to me. There are hundreds of thousands of people who live outside of the beltway (within PG county) who are in need of efficient metrorail access from their locations. 

Now, there are some people who would make the arguement that there is absolutely no space for the Orange Line to be extended to Bowie and Laurel. Then my question to that is what about the current construction going on the Silver Line? Could that not be modified to reach people living in Bowie and Laurel? Could that not be modified to make Metrorail a more extensive and efficient system?

I wrote this note to say that I am tired of the incompetence on the part of Metro, and I'm pretty sure that there are other people out there who are tired but instead, choose to remain silent about the issue. I have written WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) emails in several occassions concerning the "bus" issue, but they never cared to respond to any of my concerns. So now I am done talking about the bus. Since they don't want to frequent the bus routes of B21 and B22, they need to extend the Orange Line to Bowie (at the least) and Laurel OR they need to make some kind of engineering modifications to the current Silver Line proposal. I am a paying customer and I feel like I have the right to bring this issue to the table...the issue of me being unsatisfied with their recent work.

What do you think about Metro and their service or lack thereof? This will probably be more relative to those who rely on the Metro (bus and rail). Feel free to comment.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Photoblog 1: The City of Bowie

This is the town of Bowie, located in the state of Maryland. This suburb is home to 55,000 people and is only 25 minutes from Washington, DC by car. Enjoy the pics!