Archive for August, 2011

Welcome to the Swelling

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Why will half of Americans be obese by 2030? You don’t need a doctor to know it’s ‘cause we’re injured.

Source: The Lancet, Volume 378, Issue 9793

Professor Boyd Swinburn of The International Obesity Task Force points out that obesity is “just a normal physiological response to an abnormal environment,” but a quick review of the causes of obesity shows just how ho-hum “abnormal” has become. Here are a few personal favorites:

Sedentary Lifestyle: Ye olde lack of exercise and physical activity: Opt for stairs over elevator? Ha! Park farther from work so I can walk more? Oh, sure! But be careful, sitting on your ass during the digital revolution means that when the real revolution happens, (more…)

There’s No Excuse for Wasting that Hour

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

But I don’t care. I can’t look at this mug shot without laughing. I saw it and my imagination kicked in immediately. I’m no poet, but it was worth the last hour to try.


“Kids for Cash” Judge vs. Parents

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Hurt parents’ barbs and bitch-outs cut much deeper than their backhands. So let’s send the judge who got rich sentencing juveniles to his friends’ privately-owned jails into a “hostility cage” with victims’ families.

Michael J. Mullen / Associated Press

Source: CNN

The unedited footage of Sandy Fonzo screaming at former Luzerne County judge Mark Ciavarella is powerful. My own fists were clenched by the end of it: I can only imagine the fury that 370 similarly outraged mothers and fathers would produce. Sandy Fonzo is a woman both desperate to be heard and desperately angry. Though I do not know her, I root for her. Her son’s suicide may have ultimately been his responsibility, but it stemmed from an inability to recover from what happened to him in custody. I’ve seen that trauma up close and the behavioral issues that often follow. Had that been my kid, I don’t think I’d have been satisfied with a verbal confrontation. (more…)

I Left My Heart in Folsom Prison

Friday, August 12th, 2011

To the parolee caught trying sneak back into Folsom Prison: Next time just try the souvenir shop.

Original Story: MSNBC

Hand-built by inmates and Chinese railroad workers, this view of the granite wall that surrounds Folsom's old yard is from the main access road

The so-called “old Yard” was one of the facilities to which I was assigned as a temporary “consumer of Corrections services.” Years after my release, while driving with my then-girlfriend to Lake Tahoe for a wedding, I turned onto the prison road. I wanted to see that giant wall as an outsider, a perspectiv­e I didn’t have in my previous experience on the property. (more…)

Holding Cells Aren’t Sexy

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

With ABC’s new Take the Money and Run, Americans can cozy up to custody, interrogation, and being informed on by family and friends.

Screenshots courtesy of ABC

Maybe it’s my PTSD talking, but is this really the best time for people to be asking themselves if they can withstand a police interrogation? Sure, if you’re a television producer the answer is (spit-take) hell yes, but what about the rest of us?

If you haven’t seen ABC’s primetime show, Take the Money and Run, its proposition is simple: you and a partner hide $100,000 somewhere (more…)

8-year-old Designated Driver = Epic Win

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

What? It’s not like you have to pay ’em, right?

Source: KATC Lafayette News

If I had an eight-year-old son to use as a designated driver, whether for making it home before the wife does or for a balls-out run across state lines, I’d at least give the kid a fake mustache, a funny hat, or even an eyepatch to wear. If the police are gonna find me passed out drunk in the front seat with my child at the wheel, I’d sure rather get a wake-up jab from a cop trying not to laugh than by a trooper so angry he tazes me in the ear. I mean, I’d even try writing something like, “Proud Son of a Probation Dad” on the kid’s forehead. Anything’s better than letting a mug shot like this one do all the talking. (more…)