Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Call of Duty Myth

There is not a solider inside us all. Period! There are a very select group of brave men and woman who can claim they have what it takes to be a solider, and I thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart.  To make a claim that there is a solider inside us all is not only insulting to those men and women who risk their life to protect our freedom everyday, it is flat out wrong.  So who made this claim that there is a solider inside us all?  The new Call of Duty video game commercial.  Which, if I may add, has a scene with a young girl firing a shot gun and smiling about it after.  This commercial sickens me.  Don't get me wrong, I think the video game is fun to play.  I should also note that I am not one of those people who believes violent video games produce violent children (if parents took responsibly, it would be a non-issue, but we will save that for another time). I don't know how they got off making a commercial that mocks a war zone, with everyday people and show them smiling about it!

How about this, let us send a bunch of "regular" people into an actual combat situation.  Force them to kill someone and then watch their friend die next to them.  Let us see if they are smiling then.  Activision, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Let Cancer Win

Do you know what "Movember" is?  If you don't, I encourage you to do some quick research.  In order to raise awareness and research funding men around the country are growing mustaches right now.  Their aim?  Prostate Caner.  Prostate Cancer is a deadly disease, affecting an astronomical amount of men each year.  How do we fight it?  We fund the research that goes into finding a cure.

If you like my friend's mustache seen here, and are willing to be selfless and save lives, I would encourage you to donate a small amount of money to a worthy cause.  Follow this link to donate:

Don't let cancer win.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I was sitting in a Starbucks a few days ago having coffee with my wonderful girlfriend.  We were having a conversation about her grad school applications.  Unfortunately, I was being distracted.  The distraction was a teenage boy trying to talk to a teenage girl.  We all know how this goes; he was trying to act really "cool."  "Cool" is in quotation marks for a reason.  "Cool" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and I respect most of its uses.  This example of "cool" however, was completely unacceptable.  The kid, for 20 minutes, talked about how "cool" is was to be drunk all the time.  He even bragged about this one time when him and his friends got black out drunk and drove around the city doing stupid things.  Now, I am not a violent person, but if it wasn't for my girlfriend I probably would have punched him out.  There is absolutely no need for a person like him to be a part of a civilized society.  THIS IS HOW PEOPLE DIE!  AND IT IS FUN? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

The girl he was talking to, couldn't help herself.  She was eating it up, giggling, playing with her hair, smiling.  She thought it was "cool."  There is no place for someone like her in a civilized society either.  She is just as guilty, because she is what I like to call an enabler.  I understand they are teenagers, and most of them have a messed up view of the world anyways, but come on!  You know who else I blame, his and her parents.  If only they got their heads out of their asses and raised their children in an acceptable manner.

This topic fires me up, if you can't tell.  I ask one thing of anyone who reads this post.  Please, for the love of humanity, do not enable people like these two I have discussed.  Punching someone out over this is not the answer, but if you are an adult and you are hearing a teenager talk like this, could you please remind them that they are being ridiculous and won't be laughing when they kill themselves, or worse... someone else.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

National Day of Conversation

Today I had the privilege of taking part in a great conversation, I mean, it is the National Day of Conversation after all.  The topic: What is the most important work newly elected officials can address in your community?  I sat at a table with about 15 or so strangers and discussed everything from inevitable political redistricting (and how it will ultimately be unfair) to how we could better utilize Cleveland's waterfront.  This situation was a brand new experience for myself, and it was very eye opening.  It was good to break out of my current circle of conversations and bust into a new one.  I would encourage everyone to try something like this, who knows what you might learn or who you might meet.  Better yet, your conversation might lead to some sort of action.  The type of action that may encourage your elected officials to go through fair redistricting or a brand new commercial development on Cleveland's beautiful waterfront...

Monday, November 1, 2010

We the Ignorant

Explain to me how a politician can cut taxes and decrease the deficit and never reduce funding to current government backed programs (Social Security, The National Endowment for the Arts, etc).  Anyone? Anyone at all?  O wait, here comes a politician to tell me that it can be done... but, funny thing is, he/she cannot tell me how!!!  Do you want to know why they can't tell me?  Not because they are trying to be vague, but because it cannot be done!  Yet millions of Americans are fooled by this, and continually none-the-less.  Why are we fooled?  Say the phrase "cut taxes" and everyone loves you.  It is what it takes to be elected in this country.  God forbid a political candidate says he wants to do the sensible thing to ensure our children's future and cut spending, in a real way, to help balance the budget.  Not increase taxes, but decrease funding.  Because he will upset the elderly person, or the artist, or the rich guy or whoever else will have to take a tiny step back in order to ensure a prosperous future for our country.  Didn't a famous man once say "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."  Do people even know what that means anymore?

I don't blame the politicians, for it is the game they have to play in order to get elected.  Shame on us for allowing the game to be played this way.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Get The Facts

So, my new favorite website is called  It is a service that operates in a few select states that tests the claims made by political candidates.  They use a scale that starts at "True" and ends at "Pants on Fire!" (As in liar, liar pants on fire...)  My favorite is the pants on fire rating.  In my mind, if a candidate gets rated pants on fire, they will never get my vote.  As I've said before, why don't you, as a political candidate, tell me what you can do, not lie about what a terrible person your opponent is.  For instance Governor Strickland recently put out a video about John Kasich where his team edited and cut a video apart to make it sound like Kasich was saying something ridiculous.  If you have to stoop to that level Mr. Governor, then you truly do not deserve to run my state.  You will not be getting my vote.

Anyways, I truly encourage everyone to check out the site and see for yourself what interesting things pop up.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

We Are All People

While I am not myself gay, I have no problem with gay people.  In the same manner while I am not Muslim, I have no problem with Islamic people.  I can make this statement about any characteristic by which people are judged.  Why can't everyone share this point of view?  Why do people need to be judged because they are different?  Yea, I know, this topic is constantly just beaten to death, but I'd like to put a different spin on it.  Mostly because of the unnecessary amount of young gay people that are committing suicide because of moronic, ignorant fellow human beings.  For instance, I live in a city which, historically, has been an area where gay people in the area live (even though I don't know/notice anymore gay people here than I would normally notice in any other city).  Sometimes, when my girlfriend or I tell someone where we live, we get this sideways look as if this particular person is pondering why a straight person would live there.  And every time I want to smack the person upside the head, for a number of reasons.  1) Gay people are still PEOPLE.  2) Gay people do not have a disease, so it is acceptable to go near them.  3) I'm willing to bet the ratio of gay people to straight people in this city is maybe 1 gay person for every 30 straight people, so I am sure I am a welcome member of the community.  4) GET OVER IT!

So, here comes the different spin I referred to earlier.  If I were to say that a particular person is inferior to me because I am an engineer and they are just a sales person, or waiter, or a doctor, or a line man, would that be acceptable?  NO!  And quite far from the truth none-the-less.  So here is the deal, because someone is attracted to their same sex, they are not inferior to you!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It is Political Season

I know it has been some time since my last post, life has gotten a little busy, but it is still good.  Anyways...

It is political season again, and if you didn't know this, you must not be listening to the radio, watching TV or reading the newspaper.  Who can ignore the modern political advertisements that do nothing but bash the candidate's opponents?  I can honestly say that I cannot recall the last political advertisement that did not involve a candidate's opponent.  I need to know why I should pick YOU!  Not why I shouldn't pick the other guy or girl.  The sad thing is that I cannot blame the politicians, they are just being smart.  Who can I blame, the American people of course.  American people respond to negativity.  So why not bash the opponent.  If only we, as a society, had the attention span to read about a candidate and decide we wanted to vote for that person.  Instead we wait to hear about how the other guy/girl voted to raise taxes, then, it is all over for that candidate.  

I did, however, hear a bright spot the other day.  I was listening to an interview of a candidate on the radio.  That Candidate was Tom Ganley, who is running for Congress here in Ohio.  He said it is time to cut the budget back, a noble statement.  He said it was time to stop spending millions of dollars on out dated, or currently unneeded programs, in order to help reduce the over spending.  It gets better though, when asked what programs he would cut, he actually named a specific program!  Amazing! Politicians don't mention specifics ever!  Well he is not a politician, he is a business man.  And businessmen are what need in our political system.  Do you want to know the program he mentioned?  The National Endowment for the Arts.  I like two things about his choice.  1) While I may not want to get rid of the National Endowment for the arts, I happen to like art; I think given the current economic situation and the rising national debt, this is an example of a program that can be cut for now.  2) HE ACTUALLY HAD A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF A PROGRAM WE COULD CUT! 

We need more politicians like Tom Ganley.  Now I don't know if I would vote for him yet, I have yet to do all my homework regarding him, but I do like his style.

What do you think?  Would cutting that program be a good idea or a bad idea?  Better yet, do you also like his style?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

9/11 Has Passed, No more Mosque Talk?

The ninth anniversary of one of the most horrific attacks on American soil has passed.  I hope everyone took time that day to remember those we have lost and not make that day about burning the Qur'an or holding demonstrations about anti Muslim sentiment.  O wait, some people did do that.  Some people, who thought they were honoring the dead by holding anti Muslim protest, might have well just spit on the graves of the fallen.  YOU HONOR THE DEAD BY REMEMBERING THEM, NOT BY STIRRING UP HATRED!  I say damn those who protested on that day!  And here we are, eleven days later after all of the commotion and we have.... silence?  A movement that erupted in America and was on front pages everywhere is now dead.  Why?  Because the date of September 11th has passed?  Now we don't hate Muslims? Or is that we came to our senses? Ha! Not recently has that happened in America.  I'm betting the politicians decided they got what they needed out of the date, controversy.  Sad isn't it?  It is sad that we have turned a day of mourning into a day of creating political advantage.  Imam Faisal was right; it all blew over after 9/11 passed.  Build the mosque, please.  Prove to us that Muslims are just like Christians and Jews.  Let us build relationships and move forward together in peace.

God Bless the Fallen...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scholarships for the hard working....?

Graduating college debt free has become a feat of the few.  Some students can graduate, with only a bachelor's degree, having over $60,000 in debt.  There are, however, a select group of people who can get those coveted full ride scholarships, enabling debt free living after graduation.  Hold the brand new car that may be bought as a reward.  So who gets these magical "get out of debt free" cards.  Well, the insanely brilliant, the under privileged, and the decently athletic.

The first group I have no problem with.  These are the people who go on to work at the Cleveland Clinic as brain surgeons or the NASA Glenn Research center as rocket scientists.  Their work will undoubtedly benefit mankind.  I am also all for giving the under privileged a fighting chance, so long as they do something productive with their degree.  It is the last group I have a slight issue with.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love college football.  But, I think we need to rethink the amount of money that goes into scholarships for athletics.  Let's face it, how many of those athletes come out with engineering degrees?  How many of those athletes enter a career where they even use their degrees?  How many athletes even chose a major they enjoy?  The life of a college athlete is so grueling that I've known many to chose the easiest classes they can find, just so they can keep up with their training.  It is not fair to the athlete and it is not fair to society.  

How about we pony up some dollars for those students who labor into the late hours of the night, with their nose stuck in a book, just to get a good grade.  And I am not talking about the super geniuses that need only to show up for the test to pass with flying colors.  I am saying let's look out for the hard working smart kids.  Let's toss them some scholarships because they truly deserve it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Two Sides

Every story has two sides, we all know this.  Isn't it odd that with some arguments both sides are 100% correct?  I mean, how can that be?  As an engineer this one is hard for me.  For instance, if a formula is used correctly and the calculation has been done flawlessly then there is only one possible answer.  It is impossible for there to be two different answers.  But with people, it is a rare occurrence that there is only one outcome.  Let's take, for example, my opinion on the flooding in Pakistan.  I think it is terrible that very little aid is being sent to the country.  To me, that is completely wrong.  But to other people, for example anti-Muslim's, it is practically a sin to give any sort of aid to that country.  As far as I am concerned (and I would hope most sane people would agree with me) there is only one answer, give Pakistan aid.  If only there was a formula!

Here comes the curve ball.  Even math can be wrong.  It is not often, but math can be proven wrong.  I have actually watched a former professor of mine prove 2+2=4 wrong with a whole series of other proven mathematical facts.  So where am I going with this?  Well, I'm not really sure, but I think I might use this idea to analyze my future posts...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Too Much Information?

I have decided that the internet is starting to make some aspects of my life harder.  I know I cannot be alone in this revelation.  Let me set it up.  Buying a car in 1990 involved talking to a car dealer, test driving different models and talking to friends and family.  Some people might even read a magazine article that conveyed one person's opinion.  Buying a car in 2010 involves all of those things to a certain extent, but now we have the internet.  And what is on the internet?  Thousands of blogs, articles, opinion pages, forums and reviews.  Instead of a few people's opinions, you can now access thousands of people’s opinions.  Now being the good consumer that you are, you want to do your research and make an informed decision.  But where the hell do you start? And how do you even know the information is good?  The worst part, there is always a bad review, which in turn makes you question the decision you were about to make.

All I know is that I spend countless hours researching any major purchase I'm about to make.  I mean, I love being informed, but can you have too much information?

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Lost Generation of Engineers

Computers are a wonderful invention.  They have streamlined everything from mathematical calculations to entertainment.  Some people wouldn't even know how to function in today's world without them.  But, I'd like to shed some light on something, a phenomenon that I am calling the Lost Generation of Engineers.  For the most part, I am referring to civil and mechanical engineers, though this is not exclusive to those disciplines.

First, some back ground, because believe it or not there are some people out there that do not even know what a civil or mechanical engineer does.  How about a list?  Civil engineers are responsible for: bridges, roadways, building, skyscrapers, waterways, railways and the foundations, drainage and earth work associated with any of those products.  Civil engineers were the first engineers (think irrigation canals for farming in Mesopotamia and the Great Pyramid of Giza) and the world would not be able to survive without them.  Mechanical engineers are responsible for: engines, machinery, vehicles, piping, HVAC, aviation, and the control systems that go along with those.  So now that we know what they do, what is the Lost Generation of Engineers?

Well, to design all of those wonderful, everyday systems and structures, there is a lot of math involved.  Lots of calculations, formulas, code books, and experiments got us to the point where engineers could design fantastic structures and machines that are safe and efficient.  Engineers have recently added a new tool to their arsenal of formulas and code books, computers.  The use of computers has drastically reduced the time it takes to make all of those design calculations.  Some programs even do the designs for the engineers; all that really needs to be done is input the geometry of what needs to be designed.  Wait, what?  Computer programs are designing the bridges that I cross every day on my way to work?  Well, yes and no.  

The engineer is still required to check the program's output.  But as time goes on, I believe more and more confidence will be put in the program for one simple reason; saved time.  This happens for a few reasons; the biggest one is cost cutting.  Especially now, in this economy, companies are hesitant to hire more employees.  Therefore, engineers must do what they can with the resources they have.  Now, I am in no way, shape, or form saying that inefficient designs are being produced.  In my opinion that is furthest from the truth.  What I am trying to illustrate is the beginning of a trend, a trend where the computer programs do the engineering, not the engineer.

This situation will eventually lead to my Lost Generation of Engineers theory.  One day, if this glimmer of a trend actually develops into a full blown trend, there will be a generation of engineers that doesn't actually know the theory and mechanics behind what they are designing.  They will just "plug and chug" so to speak.  Entering in the input and receiving the output.  All that is left is putting together a set of plans all the while not fully understanding what they are doing. 

How about another trend that will contribute to this theory?  The number of students entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs or careers is dropping, well, at least in the USA.  China is actually doing the opposite.  The lack of interested people and the ease of computer programs will, in my opinion, be devastating to one of the most important professions in the history of mankind.

How do we solve the problem?  That is for another time.  

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A little help for Pakistan please

Here is another situation that has me a little upset:

Haiti Earthquake:
     People affected = 3-4 million
     Aid received = Billions of dollars
Pakistan Flood:
     People affected = 20 million
     Aid received = well, let's compare it to pouring a glass of water into the ocean...

Why?  Will someone please give me a good reason why we will not give Pakistan the same amount of love we gave Haiti?  And do not tell me that it is because Pakistan is corrupt.  The government of Haiti is just as bad, if not worse than that of Pakistan.  Do not tell me that we don't want to give money to terrorists.  There are innocent human beings dying because we think the country of Pakistan is nothing but terrorists.  We must get over the Islamic phobia here in America and elsewhere.

Please, consider helping out.  Check out for a list of organizations that are accepting donations.

Give the Muslims a break please

Listen world, just because someone is Muslim doesn't mean they are a terrorist.  This war between America and Islam is getting quite ridiculous.  It is as if Americans don't believe that Christians or Jews do anything wrong.  Believe it or not, Muslims are people too, shocker, I know.  What happened to the Golden Rule that we were all taught in third grade?  I will reiterate it here, just in case it has been forgotten: "Treat others the way you wish to be treated."  Now, does everyone follow that rule?  Of course not. That is why we need police officers and the like, but I'd like to think that I live in a world where most people still follow that rule.  And I'd also like to believe that following a certain religion does not preclude or exclude you from that rule.

That being said, can we please stop fighting over the building of a Mosque/Cultural Center in New York City?  I sincerely doubt that this is some kind of shrine that the Islamic faith wants to build to mark their victory over America.  I honestly believe that is probably one of the best things that can happen to this country right now.  We need some re-education.  We need to learn that all Muslims are not the reason for the horrific attacks and terrible loss of life that occurred on September 11th, 2001.  Radical, ignorant, terrorist fools were responsible.  Was Timothy McVeigh a Muslim? No, no he was not, but guess what?  He killed innocent people none-the-less.

Americans need to realize we are fighting terrorists who happen to be Muslims, not Muslims who happen to be terrorists.  Why punish millions of innocent Muslims for no reason, why don't we accept them, like we have in this country since its inception?

Thursday, August 26, 2010


So here it is, my opening post.  I am new at this whole writing thing so cut me some slack.  Hopefully I can get at least one post a week going, I don't want to set my goals to high to begin with.

There's going to be a good mix of topics on here until I figure out what I'm actually qualified to write about.  I do have a few things in mind so far and you can expect to see posts on them in the near future.  They include: Why isn't anyone helping out Pakistan? (it is completely unfair, they need the help, and bad); Why are the majority of Americans so afraid of the Muslim religion? Do they not think Christians or Jews do evil things too?; The fact that computers design a lot of civil and mechanical engineering related projects and whether or not that is ethical; I'd also like to share some secrets about my relationship with my girl friend, well, because I think couples can learn from them.

So you see, I have a very wide range of topics... let's see how it goes!