Austin Package Explosions

So apparently someone has been going around dropping explosive packages on people’s porches in Austin. I guess it’s some new form of terrorism, and it has some people on edge.

It’s unfortunate, really.  The first package killed a guy a few weeks ago not too far from where I live, the second one killed a teenager and badly injured his mom, and the third one hit some elderly elderly woman.  The victims so far have been black and hispanic, but there’s no real solid indication yet if this is a racial thing, because there have only been three explosions so far.

It’s weird, saying “so far.” They haven’t caught the guy yet, though, so odds are, it’s going to keep happening until they do.

In my opinion, this is a pretty ballsy thing to do, from the point of view of the bomber.  In the past, mail-based terrorists have typically mailed their bombs, or anthrax, or what have you.  In this case, the running theory is the guy doing it is literally placing the packages at the doorstep himself.  Considering the fact that Amazon does business in this city using delivery drivers that literally drive their personal vehicles around, there’s room for concern that whoever is doing it could blend in very easily.

Now, I’m not here to state facts or tell you what you could easily google, I’m here to express my feelings on the matter, afterall, that is the point of Rabbit Hive After Dark.  And what are my feelings?

Having learned the proper procedure for avoiding IEDs (how fucking absurd is it that I actually have to use that knowledge again?), I guess I feel oddly prepared for a situation such as this.  It’s a terrible situation to be happening, and obviously it’s terrible for the families involved, but I’m oddly intrigued to see where this goes. I wonder if the guy doing it will get arrested or if he’ll blow himself up? Is he doing it for political reasons? For racial reasons? Is he literally doing it for the sake of doing it?

Perhaps it’s a bona-fide terrorist, you know, one of the “brown people.”  Or perhaps it’s just some white guy named jimbo who learned a thing or two about making land mines and he just wants to use it on some old enemies of his.  From a social standpoint, yeah, it’s terrible.  But from a dramatic standpoint, there is certainly an element of mystery to it.

I bet it’ll be a TV movie in a few years.  Like that DC sniper movie.

A new cancer cure?

So supposedly there’s been testing for a new cure for cancer.  The way this treatment works is that it tells the body’s immune system to actually fight cancer cells, instead of ignoring them.  Pretty neat.

What’s really neat is that they tested this cure on 90 mice with tumors.  In all 90, the tumors went away.  In 3, the tumors returned, so they treated them again, and once again, the treatment was successful.

This is huge for cancer patients, at least those who have the types of cancers that are affected by this treatment (usually those with tumors).

And yet, all I can think about is how maybe, just maybe, I can treat my pet rats in the future when they inevitably get tumorous growths, as all rats tend to do.

Radio

It’s my dream to one day own (or at least host) on a fully fledged radio station.  In the mean time, I have no choice but to tinker with HAM radio (I’m keeping my callsign private because you can look up someone’s personal details, heh).

I’ve been fiddling with building an FM setup, it’s pretty fun and it’s a good way to confuse the neighbors.  My short-term dream is to own a 50-100 foot antenna tower, but even that is a little out of the question.  The price isn’t exactly out of reach, but the wife doesn’t want me to erect a massive metal structure in the back yard, as awesome as that would be.

Some day, if we ever own more land, I can build as big of an antenna as I want.

The Victim

Whenever it comes to prevention of theft, we are told to lock our doors.  Hide our valuables.  If you leave your valuables in your car and leave your car unlocked, and your valuables get stolen, people will say “well, you shouldn’t have left that stuff out in the open.”

Whenever it comes to rape and sexual assault, it is never the victim’s fault.  Ever.  No matter how promiscuous, no matter what poor decisions someone made (walking alone at night in an irreputable area, for instance), the blame is always pushed towards the perpetrator. At least, that’s according to tumblr and the media.  Verdict is still out on that, especially if you visit some of the creepy subreddits that glorify the dominant male behavior.

Whenever a crazed gunman kills 40 people, there is no doubt.  The gunman was either crazy, or a terrorist, or barely a human being. People freak out for a week, or a month, and then move on, blaming politics or poor mental treatment or whatever, who cares, we’re already back to watching TV or… what was I talking about?

 

 

Now, the point I’m trying to get to is in each of these situations, these situations that are very different, there are two key players here.  A perpetrator, and a victim. That’s it. That’s what it really boils down to. It’s not about culture, or conspiracy, or whatever.  Regardless of the debates on gun control, on rape culture, or on petty theft (okay, you don’t hear about that last one on CNN), all of these things happen in every country, every day.  In fact, there’s probably someone somewhere right now who is robbing someone, raping them, and killing them.

And as unfortunate as it might sound to say it, this is perfectly normal behavior. One of those, “yeah, it sucks, but that’s just the way it is,” situations.  If it was truly a controllable issue, we’d have fixed it by now.  But despite thousands of years of societal reform, of laws, of “talking” about the issues, we still have to deal with perp-victim crimes all the time.

Why is that? Is it rape culture? Is it poverty? Is it the glorification of violence in video games?

I don’t think so. I think it’s human instinct.

You see, if you look at almost any animal in existence, every animal behaves the same way. Otters rape baby seals.  Chimps kill other chimps. Birds fight over that juicy grub they just saw over there. Female lions that refuse to breed are killed or banished from the pride by the male lions.

Throughout human history, humans have murdered, pillaged, stolen, destroyed, raped, and so much more from generation to generation.  Just like our animal relatives.  Because we are animals.  When push comes to shove, every human being is capable of killing.  Every human being is capable of stealing.  Every human being is capable of sexual assault.  And no amount of society is going to change that.  Sure, there will be good humans and bad, like any other society.

Take the common rat, for instance.  There are two classifications of common rat in most “Western” countries.  Wild rats, and pet rats. The biggest difference between the two is that many wild rats were captured hundreds of years ago, and bred over and over and over again for lab purposes, for pets, for genetics, etc. If you go to a pet store and buy a fancy rat right now, odds are, the past 200-300 generations of that rat have been born, bred, and died in captivity.  We’re talking 300 years of breeding and domestication.

In the early 2000’s, Dr. Manuel Berdoy released 75 lab rats that were fully domesticated into the wild.  A controlled environment, mind you, but essentially the rats were allowed to roam free after being alive in captivity for a year, descended from the many other generations of domesticated lab rats.

Almost immediately, these docile, cage-bound rats reverted to natural, instinctual behavior.  Skills that had not been touched for 200-300 years revealed themselves within days.  Foraging, social hierarchies, wild behaviors, sexual behaviors, etc.

Let’s look at humans. If you go back just 200 years, the United States still maintained slaves. We still fought over land.  The civil war hadn’t even happened yet.  In many cases, rape wasn’t even seen as a crime against the woman, but a crime against the father of the woman, for betraying his offspring.

I guess what I’m getting at, is the idea that we don’t live in a “violent” society. For it to be a violent society we’d have to have figured out how to stop the violence.  Otherwise it’s just the status quo.  I don’t know if that’s a better or worse perspective than what we already hold though.  The bottom line is, we’re all animals.  And animals can be contained, sure.  But once you stop training Fido and let him out of his cage for a while, he might go back to his bad habits.  The same applies to humanity.  If there were no laws against rape, there’d be a lot more rape.  If there were no laws against murder, there’d be a lot more murder.  Deeming it a “cultural” issue is almost insulting to the biology itself.  We need to realize that it goes way beyond the cultural or societal aspect.

The Golden Age of the Internet

I heard recently that AOL is finally closing down their instant messaging service.  I guess it isn’t used that much anymore.  Real shame.  I mean, shit, it’s not like I use it anymore, and nobody I know uses it, but it’s weird to see such a classic piece of internet history finally being destroyed, for good.

I remember spending many nights chatting up strangers, or hoping a friend would be online as soon as I logged on.  I remember forgetting that I was logged in, and turning my volume up for some music or some game, only to have the shit scared out of me when someone logged out and “slammed the door” on their way.

AIM was… wow.  What a time.

Losing Weight

Whelp, I’m doing it.

I stuck with my whole “calorie counting” thing and I’m successfully losing weight.  A lot of weight. I started at 200 pounds in September(?) and now I’m at 179.  Just 19 more to lose, before I can start on my followup exercise plan.  Hooray!

I’ve learned a fair amount throughout this process.  For one, as long as long as I focused on the calories and didn’t worry too much about everything else, it seemed to be fine for me.

Additionally, I was still able to eat out at some places I like, a fair amount.  Know what I love? Teriyaki chicken, with rice, and sweet potato tempura.  I had it once a week, and it was great.

Charting my progress helped, too.  I logged everything I ate, logged what my maximum alotted calorie consumption was, and how much of a deficit I… you know what? I don’t know why I’m bothering explaining all this.  It doesn’t matter.  This isn’t some health blog.

I lost weight, and I’ll keep doing it.  If I can hit my goals on time, I should be at 160 pounds by December 21st. Good enough for me.

The Internet

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother checking the internet. I hate that I can’t visit even the most tame, simple website without someone having to drag politics into it.

I just want to read fun comics, and look at the occasional funny / interesting picture.  I don’t want to hear about shootings, terrible world leaders, global war, liberals vs conservatives, or gender issues.  I just want to look at fun positive things.  Is that too much to ask? Does everyone have to get riled up about every little thing?

Mascots

So I’m working on some new mascots. I have no idea what I’ll use them for, but it’s just something I’ve been fiddling with.

  • Blood Hare – The obvious one, and the unofficial name of the Rabbit Hive mascot
  • Death Rat
  • War Weasel
  • Murder Mole
  • Slaughter Beaver

 

Again, no idea what to do with these, but I feel like they could be characters for… something?

Lost an Aunt Today

I lost an aunt to cancer. We were never close, so there’s no real point in acting like this is affecting me any more than it is. I think that as human beings I was mostly incompatible with her in terms of personality. She was extremely religious, whereas I am not (well, in terms of Christianity, anyway, I have other personal beliefs which I hold). As far as I remember, the last time I saw her in person, we went our separate ways on somewhat negative terms (probably over 10 years ago), and just never reconnected. It’s not like we were angry with each other, time and distance just prevented us from reconnecting.

I’m not close with most of my family, truth be told. I rarely call my own parents, though when I do, we tend to be on good terms.

I guess I just feel like I should be writing something, considering I’ve lost yet another family member, but I really don’t know what to say. This poor woman went through so much. She as stabbed by an angry ex boyfriend, and came so close to death, only to recover, live on for another ten years, and get brain cancer. Real unfortunate. It’s hard not to feel sorry for her, though I assume she wouldn’t have liked anyone to.

Well, that’s that, I guess.

Looking into the past

So I recently came across a random links to classmates.com, that website where you can check up on some of the other alumni that went to whatever schools you went to (basically a facebook for people who have forgotten people’s names, I guess).

Visiting this site, I discovered that over the past decade since I was in high school, about 8 people registered for that site. Not very impressive, but whatever.  The real point of interest is it turns out someone uploaded a few of the yearbooks from my school.

Oh man, talk about a blast from the past.  Faces of people I haven’t seen in years, pictures of this club or that team.  It was a real overload.  And it reminded me of why tend to leave the past behind. I think I have too much of a “good ol’ days” problem.  If I start reminiscing about something in my past, I get hooked.  Too much.  So many thoughts and questions of “what could have been,” so many feelings of yearning or regret, it’s just painful.  I’m glad to be an adult, and I would never go back, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t at least some things I miss about high school.  The familiar faces, the routine, the feeling of nothing really being important, etc.

I think a part of it stems from the fact that it’s like catching up with old friends.  Some of the pictures were of people who I never said more than 10 words to, despite the fact that I’d gone to the same school as some of them for 12 years.  A pretty significant portion of one’s life, especially considering it’s almost half of my life.

I miss some of those people, and the whole reason I regret looking through that year book is because now I feel myself missing people who I probably would have forgotten completely had I not looked at it.  I was also kind of a jerk to some of them, and now, no matter how unnecessary it probably is, I feel a weird sense of shame, like I need to somehow go back and apologize to a couple of them.

I don’t like feeling this way, and I try to avoid it.  It’s the same reason I don’t like looking back on a lot of things in my past, good or bad.  Really anything social, when I think about it.  Huh.

I’m glad the brig didn’t have a yearbook.  That would probably fuck with my head.