fredag 2. oktober 2009

Definite last post

Hello, world.

I am now declaring the ultimate death sentence of this blog. Today I was incredibly bored and I looked around on this blog and found a new comment. As I replied, it struck me that I should make a new one. And, having a broken social life, I spent all evening making a new one. A better one! So if anybody actually reads this, they should drop by my new project: "Zoon politikon?". I chose to make it in English just for you guys, so now you'd all better move over and start commenting.

To this blog: I'm incredibly sorry, but I need to move on and create a new blog for myself.

To readers: Come on, GET. OVER. THERE. NOW.

tirsdag 2. juni 2009

Potential final update

Hello, yet again. Today I'm making a glog about the British political system. First, however, I am required to post something here.

I have already written a post on this political system, which you can read here. The British democracy is representative, meaning that the people delegate power to politicians, rather than deciding in every matter by themselves. The Parliament consists of 646 seats - one from each constituency - and this is where it becomes problematic. This means that large amounts of votes are wasted, because there can only be one winner. So, if there are two candidates, and if one scores 50,1% of the votes, he has won and his opponent gets nothing. This happens to the Liberal Democrats, as the system ensures that they get fewer seats than they would in a proportional system.

Those that do get seats, become MPs. This stands for Member of Parliament, and they are elected for five years. The MPs form the cabinet, and the cabinet decides when the next election will be. The leader of the cabinet is the Prime Minister, and he (once she) chooses the other ministers. The British Parliament is divided into two chambers: The House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The House of Commons is more important today. They usually introduce legislation and can overthrow the cabinet. The members are elected from the constituencies, and have duties both in Parliament and in their constituency.

People are appointed to the House of Lords, or inherit the seats (today uncommon). Margaret Thatcher is currently a member of the House of Lords, being appointed after her period as Prime Minister. The Lords can make suggestions for legislation, although this rarely happens, and to a small extent stop decisions made by the House of Commons. There are now 738 members of the House of Lords.

The picture is naturally of Westminster and Big Ben (named after an obese politician). The glog can be found here.

tirsdag 21. april 2009

Gangland, USA

Hi again, fellow bloggers! Today I'm looking at gangs in the US, from an article in the book for our class. It says a lot about the criminal gangs from the 1960s and what has changed today, however I'm more into the historical development of gangs. For this you use the Wikipedia.

There have practically been gangs in the US since the immigration started. This is because of the ethnic and cultural differences, caused by having immigrants from more than one nation. Initially, there were Irish, English, Scottish and German gangs. They were fighting with each others to control districts in the cities, which can be seen in the film Gangs of New York (Great film, by the way). The development from here has mostly involved new immigrants making new gangs for people of their nationality. The gangs probably had much influence on politics, giving hard and soft money to politicians that supported them.

The gangs mostly remained like this until the 1920s - the roaring twenties. During this period selling alcohol was prohibited, which caused organized smuggling, illegal production and bars. These were owned by gangs, although the term "mafia" may be more appropriate now. The mafia largely consisted of Italian and Russian families. Even after the Prohibition was removed, the mafia didn't disappear.

Along with the Civil Rights Movement, African-American gangs developed. Civil rights and organized crime stood quite close, an example of this is the Black Panther Party, which promoted violence and crime along with rights for black people.

Not much has happened since that time; there is an increase in Asian and South-American gangs and there are a few larger gangs that spread across multiple states and/or are not limited to one culture. There is also a separate system of prison gangs, these are largely based on ethnicity. You can see lists of American gangs here.

An interesting thing, is the gang tattoo-aspect. Most gangs have their own tattoo and it was common to tattoo a teardrop for every person you had killed. The picture is related to this, especially Asian and Hispanic gangs are famous for their tattoos. I would really like to make an update on this, but I don't think I will have to opportunity to - I guess this should have been the topic for my senior project.

tirsdag 14. april 2009

Martin Luther

Okay, it seems that I am REALLY bored today. So... My English teacher, who rules this blog like a dictator, has told us to write about "African America, Martin Lurther" This is obviously a mistake on her part (intending to write Martin Luther King Jr.), but why would that stop me from posting about Martin Luther?

Martin Luther is probably the most famous Christian reformator, especially in my part of the world. Here, he is to some degree seen as the one great man who stood alone against the evil Catholic church. People tend to forget people like Jan Hus and John Wycliffe, only because Hus got burnt and Wycliffe got his bones dug up, books burnt and declared a heretic. Luther just got lucky. When he was going to get killed, his mom got scared, and said "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air". Actually, he was kidnapped by German lords, because they wanted him to fight the Catholic church and the Holy Roman emperor.

And everybody knows what happened from there. Because this is only a fun-post, it won't be overly good. In the end, the "good guys" won against the Catholic church and it became split. This was not Luther's intention. It also caused wars: It began with civil wars in today's Germany and Czech Republic, but developed into a huge war for status as Europe's "superpowers". Actually, France (Catholic) supported the protestants, simply because they wanted the Holy Roman empire to lose power. These wars ended in the Peace of Augsburg and Westphalia. The Peace of Augsburg gave more religious freedom to the people in Germany, because the inhabitants of each tiny kingdom automatically had the same religion as their ruler. The Peace of Westfailia brought great development in diplomacy and the emperor lost power.

Oh, and before I forget it... Martin Luther greatly supported burning witches, and is probably a large factor for how many witches were burnt. For some reason I have difficulty finding a source on this :)

I don't think there will be any updates on this one, I made it for a laugh only.

2nd update on OneNote!

Because I don't have a life and is accordingly quite bored, I have decided to make an update on the program OneNote. The first post can be read here . I have now figured out most of the functions of this invaluable program.

Still, it's mostly for taking notes, but it works really great for this. It's also very handy while making a larger paper on something, because you can have several pages open at the same time. And the pages don't end anywhere! You can simply keep writing in every direction for as long as you want to. I used this a lot to do research for my senior project: I had sources on one page, various notes on several others and so on.

The best thing about OneNote is probably the auto save-function, which allows you to quit without thinking and taking the time with saving it at a specific location and format. The second best must be that it can handle so many different kinds of files. No, wait! The second best should be that it can recognize text in images. This means that you can take a screenshot (for example of my ugly blog) and paste it into OneNote, and it recognizes the text and you can search for it. The search function is also quite awesome.

The only things that are really bad in OneNote is that most other programs don't work with it. I can't copy things into OpenOffice at all and pasting text into an MSN-conversation (European version of AIM for rednecks) makes it become an image. The second bad thing is the price.


OpenOffice needs to make a version of OneNote as soon as possible. I'm close to installing Microsoft Word just to have something that works with OneNote, although I hate the new versions of Word.

I don't think anymore updates will follow on this one; Microsoft should be happy with two commercials on my blog. However, I might post short notes whenever "a wild function appeared" (Pokèmon-related humor).

tirsdag 31. mars 2009

Bloggers Challenge 2009

Good-day, non-existing readers!

Today I have a special assignment, I'm going to write: "Your story of how blogging has helped you connect to a global audience and what this connection has meant to you. e.g. the friends you have made, what you have learnt about other cultures, how you are able to share your passions with others, how you are able to use blogging to share your views on topics"

So, first off. Who's actually reading this blog except me, my English teacher and some poor American students who have been forced to, by their teacher? Well, I don't really know. Please comment somewhere if you're actually reading this by your own free will, if not I suppose you're a ninja. Yet, I have received comments from like three different people, so I haven't really "connected to a global audience". And is there really a global audience?

Personally, I don't read a blog voluntarily. They are either uninteresting or written in a wrong style. This could mean full of spelling errors, insanely advanced language, claims without evidence and so on. This makes it boring. I have not made friends through blogging, I have become even more certain that the southern states of the US are full of rednecks and I don't have a "passion" for most of the themes I'm blogging on and I don't share them as no-one reads my blog. However, I think I'm pretty able to "share my views on topics".

However "my views" might easily be dismissed as the rantings of a wacko, polar bear-eating, atheist, commie and anti-christ himself. On the other hand: Why would I care? I'm largely doing this to get top marks in English, and if nobody reads my blog, it's hardly my fault.

tirsdag 24. mars 2009

British political system

It seems that I have one more thing to post today - Something on the British Parliaments. So I'll write a tad on the "first past the post"-thing and how this works.

First off, the UK is divided into constituencies (counties or "states", you might say). There are 646 of these constituencies, and each one elects one MP (member of parliament) through the first past the post-system. This means that if there are two candidates, and if one scores 50,1% of the votes, he has won and his opponent gets nothing.

This causes an enormous amount of votes to be wasted: There are mainly three parties in England - Labour, Conservative and the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats are a bit smaller by number of votes, however this causes them to lose an insane amount of seats in the parliament. This causes the system to be largely controlled by two parties: Labour and Conservatives. This is very unfair to smaller parties.

However, it also provides strong cabinets. The cabinet will always have support in the majority of the parliament, whereas in Norway we get weak alliances and the cabinet can't do what it wants to do. Currently, our cabinet consists of three different parties, and they tend to disagree. And they are the first government in quite some time to hold the majority of our parliament. In the UK there's no way to ensure that the cabinet doesn't become tyrannic, it can only be removed by a majority in the parliament.

This means that when the have elections in the UK, they vote for their next five-year long dictatorship.