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).