Friday, April 27, 2012

Walk Score

I just stumbled across a fascinating website called  Walk Score is an index that grades each town and city on "walkability", or how accessible that various amenities and necessities are if you don't happen to own a vehicle.  I had never heard of it before, but I imagine that awareness of it will only grow in the upcoming years for obvious reasons. 

I can't imagine that many towns in the U.S. rate very high, and my town is no exception.  The town of Medford, NY has a "walkability" rating of 28, and is listed as "car-dependent".  It takes me the better part of a mile, through the most detestable and unsightly suburban sprawl, to walk to the nearest Starbucks or to catch a bus.  I don't really mind the walk, I just wish it was through more desirable scenery.  As a source of comparison, I then checked out Port Jefferson, NY, a town not far from here that I've always been fond of, and it got a "walkability" rating of 75.  A full list of locations like supermarkets, bookstores and bars are included in each listing. 

My dream has been to be able to live in a place where I don't need a car, where on a Friday or Saturday night, I can actually go out and do something rather than sit in front of the television playing video games.  If that actually does come to fruition someday, I imagine that this would be a very helpful website. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Father Gets Killed Over Playstation

In one of those stories that just makes you go "WTF", but unfortunately doesn't really seem so surprising these days, a 4-year old boy killed his father for not bringing him home a Playstation 3.  The article doesn't make clear why the father was carrying a gun, but as he was undressing, the boy took the gun and shot him in the head.  I just think that technology can drive people nuts at times, and the young are very vulnerable to this.  Someone I work with told me that his son got frustrated with a video game he was playing, so he threw his DS on the ground and broke it.  Frustration with games is a sensation I'm well familiar with, but I'd always been able to restrain the urge to throw my controller through the TV. 

What I found most interesting is that this incident did not take place in the U.S. or another developed country, but in Saudi Arabia.  It appears that the worst aspects of our culture have pervaded even fundie bulwarks like that country.  And now, off to power up my Playstation 3 (yes, I'm being serious).