*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

Ow, ow, ow.
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After spending 4 or 5 hour's in Sho's clothing, I am fully acquainted with women's apparel (no, i did not wear it all, sickos). I accidentally ripped her jacket trying to get it on, and her shirt and pants just barely fit. Ugh, I've done it once, I'll never do it again.

In case you're wondering, I was not, in fact, a transvestite (like Ben or Zach), but an emo child. Pictures are soon to come (everybody seemed to find it extremely amusing). Just so you know, I went out with the intention of wearing a robe and a beanie and just looking normal, but no, that would not do. It was not willingly done.

The night as a whole was not super great, but I've never actually had a very good Halloween, it seems to be a tradition. That's okay. I'm feeling more upbeat than previously posted, somewhat thanks to you folk out there. Thank you.

I just hope Sho's dad didn't see me. That would be awkward.


No way. I'm not making it easier for you to find those pictures.
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Perhaps it's just the excessive amount of Coke I've had today, but today has sucked. Maybe it's just that Jen keeps trying to hump my foot, and runs under my bed before I get the chance to smack her. It could be the 4 spotlights in the sky. Could it be that Mars is really close to Earth today? It's been a very emo day, a depressing length of time, restless, frustrating, confusing, a day I do not particularly enjoy.

The things that have stricken me so greatly on this day are numerous. Look at that whole "me-not-dating" thing I mentioned a week or two ago. My hope in doing that was to deter me from pitying my lonely self all the time, which it thoroughly failed in doing. That's to be expected, I suppose. Screw it.

I despise how my mother seems intent on asking if any girl I mention is my girlfriend. It's degrading, in so many ways. Am I not right to respond with a moderate level of angst and ferocity? I am reminded of Maximus (and Commodus), in Gladiator. Are you not entertained, am I not merciful, and other such lines. If only.

Every day, I fight to maintain what is left of my self-image. I hate it. I hate lookng at C's on all my tests, I hate fighting this overwhelming accusation against me, that I am average, that I am not what I am told. People tell me, they tell me I'm naturally brilliant, that I think well, that I'm gonna be something awesome. When I feel normal, I don't doubt any of that, and I don't require the security of knowing any of those things. I don't feel normal. Something about high school, something about it, everything screams to me that I shouldn't be myself. I walk in that door, I smell that horrid, horrid stench of paper, cafeteria food, dust, and floor cleaner, and it makes my head ache.

I got a call from the school on Thursday, when I stayed home after working for 8 hours on my CS project, telling me I have no more grace days. I hate the system. Spending 30 minutes in a cold lecture hall after school is no motivation to get me to come to school on time, why do they not think on our terms? It reminds me of our country, our world, and how so, so crappy it all is. I occasionally ask God why I have to be down here, even though I know the answer.

Maybe it's just the 250 pages I have to read before the end of tomorrow. If only the dream in my head could be expressed.
Public Service Announcement
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Friends and family, I have been forced to this by someone (I do not know who).

What am I talking about? I woke up at 7:30 this morning. Not a big deal. Jonathan was gonna take me to school (as planned the night before, because my Dad was at a meeting). I go upstairs and hear that Mom is still home, and since Jonathan was still asleep, I figured I'd ask her if she could take me first. As expected, she said no, so I went downstairs and started getting ready. She comes down and starts telling me how several people have told her that I watch movies and TV all the time, as proven from the contents of my blog (she has read this once in its lifetime, and that was not recently), and that when I get home from school we're having a talk. I continued upon my merry way, being late to school for the hundredth time thus far.

I am tired of people (I do not know who) reporting everything I write here to my parents, like some kind of private detectives, giving details with no context. This blog is not "evidence". This has happened before, and I am done with it. I've given my parents the current blog address multiple times, they can read it if they want to. If they don't, that is their fault, and does not mean they need to have information fed to them. I am not hiding the contents of this site. I write here because I enjoy it and it's a fun way to keep in touch with my friends. I won't have it ruined by a single person.

I shall also use this opportunity to quote Karen, to lighten the mood.

(Pretend this is Paul)
First of all, in my superior omniscience I decided to indulge the banal sensibility of you philistines, so note that I have changed my website yet again in a way none of you have the slightest chance of fathoming. Try to comprehend, this is no mere stochastic decision; unlike the arbitrary digital aesthetic that so characterizes the blogs of certain others, my layout is pleasingly devoid of irregularities such as "comments."

I would like to take the opportunity to assert my undying devotion to baseball. Baseball is my god, my heart of hearts, the one I spend lonely nights alone in my bed fantasizing about. If baseball were a human, I would lick its naughty parts. If it were capable of impregnating me, and I capable of impregnation, I would gladly bear each its precious, beautiful children. I would happily allow the Yankees to sodomize me, one by one or simultaneously. Baseball is so important to me, I speak rarely of anything else, much to the chagrin of my friends and loved ones, who reply by begging me to alter my topic of conversation, or threatening to end my life. But I would not! Such is the devotion I hold for this beloved pasttime.

At this juncture I feel an insult to the Red Sox is necessary, but I used the word "suction" (albeit incorrectly) in my last post, and Merriam-Webster's Online Thesaurus is down.

To conclude, there are not enough hours in the day for me to reply to all of your assertions of adoration for my genius and wit. However, it is my duty to respond to any and all criticisms as acerbically as my extensive vocabulary permits.
Bite of the Bagel
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As you IE scum can see, things look relatively normal around here. I've added a hideous little "notice" box encouraging you to move over to Firefox, which is the suffering you endure for using the crap bucket that is IE. It's all just some javascript that switches the images to gifs and the css to an IE friendly version. Nothing amazing, it only took about an hour total to do. Be thankful. You are like lasagna without cheese.

So, in an effort to start understanding the constant references to the Godfather in the Sopranos, I sat down and watched half of Part I last night. By the time I had to stop to ensure I got some sleep, I was totally hooked. I've been told by many people that it's possibly the greatest movie of all time, and if nothing else, in the top ten. I'm looking forward to sitting down to it again tonight.

I also watched Batman Begins the other night, which is indeed a good movie. It made me want to see the other Batman movies (read: the first one, not the others). Something I've noticed that is unique about Batman is the comlete lack of continuity between each variant, whether it be the cartoon (the dark, shady one, that I wasn't allowed to watch for the first few years of my youth, I recall it being quite good for a cartoon), the original series (biff! pow!), or the more recent movies. There's not a lot in common between them. There's basically a few elements that combine to make the movie: the billionaire Bruce Wayne, the crime-fighting Batman, the crime-ridden Gotham City, and the Bat-accessories. Not even the sidekick Robin is a constant in the equation, which I consider a good thing. It makes for a sort of open book which anybody can pick up, not know anything about Batman, and just get it. That's healthy story design, I think.

Anyways. I have two programs waiting to be finished, a book to read, and physics.

Speaking of my Physics class, it has reached a low that I was not prepared for. It is boring beyond my wildest dreams. She's a nice teacher, and I won't be dropping the class like I normally do when faced with a class that isn't fun. Even still, when you spend over an hour and a half reviewing three problems, you know someone should be shot, and it's not the leopard in the corner.

Good night.
Fruit Percentage
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You guys are so needy. I go a week after posting two large items, and you get all wanty. A pox on your glazed donuts, that's what I say.

Overall, things are well. My weekend has been highly bovine, lots of doing nothing and relaxing. I went and saw Serenity with Karel last night, around which fun ensued. Paul was over Friday night and we flopped about like beached weasels, in general. For having so much socialization over the weekend, I still feel like I've done nothing. Although that might just be the 6 episodes of the Sopranos I watched, one can never tell. I'm through season one, at least.

Other things of significance to report? I played Battlefield 2 with Ben the other night, which was roughly akin to baked guitar. My performance was comparable to that of a sun-dried noodle. The usual routine would be something like, "Tim runs around corner." "Tim sees enemy." "Tim fires approximately 4 shots." "Tim dies from the stupid M203s." "Ben steps out and kills reloading enemy." "Ben resurrects Tim." "Repeat.".

Beyond that, I've canceled my subscription to WoW, since I just haven't played it enough. I may bring it back in December or January or some other time suitable for tanning the island of Crete.

On a an entirely serious note that contains no penny of sarcasm, I learned that EA is collaborating with the porn industry. No joke. Jack Thompson doesn't lie, man. He'd never lie. He's a completely honest individual that is completely qualified to be a lawyer. I heard it all, man. I heard it all. (go listen to the interview.)

I hope you are satisfied. My fungal linkage should amuse you until I have the energy to provide you with real entertainment.
Mmm, Pie
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Once again, I bring to you a revolution in my thinking on a popular topic. Marijauna is today's subject. I bring to you a poll, reflecting the opinions of a whole lot of people. Some of you have given me your thoughts, some of you haven't.

As you can see, it is mostly balanced. Many of those who said yes are my more conservative friends. Interestingly enough, the ones who said no are not stoners. For those of you who are asking yourselves "Wait, he said marijauna, not Cannabis!", Cannabis is the name for all species of marijauna, that which is used for hemp as well as drugs.

As a starting point, I suggest some of you go read the wiki on the Cannabis drug. I know a lot of you don't want to do that, so I'll summarize the important points. I'll try and be as non-biased as I can.

Cannabis has been around for practically ever. It isn't new. At all. Scythia and Thracians used it (about 2000 years ago), and was a big part of most Western culture up until the early 20th century. What happened, you ask? Fear-mongering, akin to the Red Scare of the 50's, produced by a single man seeking political power. Does this kind of slogan sound familiar to you?

    Beware! Young and Old - People in All Walks of Life! This may be handed to you by the friendly stranger. It contains the Killer Drug "Marihauna", a powerful narcotic in which lurks MURDER! INSANITY! DEATH!

This is lead to extreme taxes on all marijauna (Maria Joana), contrary to the advice of the Amercian Health Association at the time. Think $100 per pound. That's crazy expensive even now, and insane at the time. It also required all merchants selling marijauna to register with the police, giving them all their information, a violation of the fifth amendment. This was not smacked down until 1963, but by then, all 50 states had banned marijauna outright. Posession or use of Cannabis was not made a federal crime until 1970, with the CSA, placing it alongside Schedule I drugs, like Heroin, Ecstasy, and LSD (Schedule I is the "most dangerous", Schedule IV is "least dangerous"). It's a full schedule above Ritalin and Speed, two schedules above steroids, and three schedules above Rufies. Look 'em up.

It is obviously considered a highly dangerous drug. So it's got to do something bad, right? Time for a bulleted list. The bad effects include:
  • Dry mouth
  • Lowered coordination
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Enhanced stress or anxiety*
  • Enhanced nausea, dizziness, or headaches*
  • Short-term memory difficulty (this is debated)*
  • Hallucinations (in large doses)*
Doesn't sound good does it? Note the asterisks. Those are effects that are supposedly uncommon or rare. Those effects are generally dependent on the person using them. Marijauna has the opposite effects on the positive side, so they obviously don't happen all the time. Speaking of the good effects, let's have another bulleted list:
  • Mild Euphoria
  • Increased appreciation of humor, art, music, colors, patterns, and food.
  • Increased mental acuity, sensory perception, and awareness.
  • Enhanced memory of past events and introspection.
  • Reduces headaches, nausea, stress and pain.
That about sums up all the good and bad effects with the short term. I won't even touch the benefits for those with any kind of potent illness. Read for yourself, there's tons. THC (the main active chemical) has a lot of uses, and marijauna in its entirity has even more. As for the long-term problems? I will list off all the common mythical problems with long-term usage. A bulleted list is again in call here.
  • Death
There are no recorded cases of an overdose of marijauna. It is estimated that the only way one could overdose on marijauna - requiring 42mg/kg of weight in the human body. Basically, for a 165 lb male to overdose, he'd have to smoke a minimum of 22 cigarettes with the maximum potency, with no loss of THC (the "killer" element) whatsoever. The last two factors make this almost entirely impossible, let alone the feasibility of doing so. Marijauna makes you sleepy, who knows how tired you'd be before the end of that run.
  • Addiction
Marijauna is not naturally addictive. The most addictive use of it is as a sleep aid. In this way, it is as addictive as sleeping aids. Even then, withdrawl symptoms include feeling mild depression, sleeplessness, and anxiety. THC also stays in the system for several days, causing the withdrawl to come very gradually. And no, the effects don't last for that period of time.

  • Lung pollution
Marijauna is, in fact, a mild pollutant to the body. Compared to cigarettes, it is much less harmful. The tar in marijauna sticks to the lungs differently - it does not reach the alveoli, meaning it inhibits breathing less, and comes out much faster with time.
  • Psychosis, Schizophrenia, and Depression
These are symptoms evident in a certain group of users. It was initially thought to be apparant in all users, but upon further study, it has been shown that mental disorders only develop under two circumstances: frequent adolescent use, and genetic predisposition towards these illnesses. To develop these requires frequent use over a long period of time (months, possibly years). This ONLY occurs in those with a genetic predisposition - adolescent use increases the chance of those with the predisposition. Marijauna can also conflict with other drugs, causing problems, but generally only in cases of antipsychotic medication. That's basic medicine though, it's why alcohol plus basically any drug is bad.

If you still think marijauna is bad, think about alcohol. Alcohol has a lot of contributions to society. Just think about it. Drunk driving, enhancing violence, enhancing depression, overdosing, alcoholism, it's just a great thing. Obviously we stopped trying prohibition because it just didn't work, stopping millions from using it entirely is almost impossible. I consider alcohol fine in small amounts (ex. a few glasses of wine or cans of beer, know your limits), although I personally only like really sweet wines, and on occassion champagne.

My conclusion? There is no reason it should be banned from medical usage. If it were to be totally legalized, there would have to be an age minimum (18, as per usual). Benefits to this would be that the government could tax it. The total revenue from the uses as hemp, medicine, and recreation would be huge. And we all know the government needs more money right now.

All that said, I've never touched the stuff, and don't plan to. If it were legalized, well, I'll cross that bridge when I get there. The big concern is the decreased inhibition. My logic is that if alcohol is okay (as in, you won't be acting like a duck in the midst of communist Russia after a glass of Guinness), how different is this? This is the question it comes down to for me. Challenge me here.
Let Us Assume
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A few more site changes to note:
  • There's a fully functional "about" section, linked at the top,
  • a fully functional index page linked from nowhere,
  • and a "various" page that is just a copy of the index page, because I don't know what else to do with it at this point.
These were done like a week ago, but I never mentioned them. A few people noticed, and by a few people, I mean Zach. Horay for Zach.

EDIT: Paul claims he noticed them. I claim he only noticed them because I told him about them when I was making them. [2] Nolan also noticed them. Horay for Nolan.

The events of the past few days have left me more drained than I've been so far this year. Today is possibly one of the worst days I've had. Perhaps it was the eight hours of homework I had last night. Perhaps it was the three hours of sleep that followed that. Perhaps it was being 5 minutes late to school, again. Perhaps it was the 62 on the latest CIM test (yes, we actually work in there, Paul). Perhaps it was the Physics test I didn't finish. Perhaps it was the 57 I got on my latest Math test (I didn't feel so bad when I saw another kid, whom I believe to be rather specialized in Math, got a 12). Take your pick (or perhaps that's my pick).

All of this, and my progress report that came over the weekend, has lead me to try and figure out a better course of action beyond "get more sleep". There's no way I'm gonna pull out of 2 D's and 2 C's just through getting more sleep (and thereby doing better on homework and quizzes). One thing that keeps running through the back of my head is this constant reminder of what other people think of me. I constantly compare what am doing now to what I've done in the past. This is a pretty unfortunate thing to do.

This is all to say that I don't know if I have the ability to do everything at once. I so desperately want to prove my intelligence to other people, that I end up making myself look more idiotic than otherwise. What I'm trying to do at this point is basically cutting my losses. The first order of business is Math. Tomorrow, I'm dropping down to regents. I know I could do it, but it's not worth it to me. I will take the same level of Math next year either way, when I'll have all the time in the world to do what I want to do. I know I could do the work, but 4 hours of homework a night is more than I am willing to do. Math makes up the majority of time spent working at home. Besides, a class with Gwen (that is, if it isn't full yet) would be nice.

That brings me to the second order of business. Generally, I haven't kept my friends in my loop for a few months now. It's not to blame on being busy, because I was doing it during the summer as well. I haven't figured what to do to rectify the situation, but getting a little more free time is a step, I suppose.

The third order of business is Robotics. It's something I'd love to do, and I'm not entirely sure as to whether I'll have room for it. Supposedly build season is massively busy. I don't know. I'm slightly more inclined to do it after dropping down in Math. It sounds like something to get me out of the house, if nothing else.

And finally, the fourth order of business is dating. In line with considering what I need in my life right now, I'm not sure if romance is a part of that. Before you all start saying "What romance?", it's not about what is, but what could be. I frequently manage to get myself hugely confused whenever a girl walks into the picture. Removing that factor entirely by saying "no, I'm not even gonna bother with that right now." may be a healthier thing to do at this point. It's not that I'm getting anywhere, it's more that I spent a lot of time in my head getting nowhere. I just don't see a hugely compelling reason to spend my time worrying about that stuff right now, and the only way I can truly enforce that is by cutting it off entirely, and leaving it for later. I don't know when later is, but it's not now, and it's not soon. There are other reasons, but none that I can accurately engender here.

Another inspiration for all this is the fact that I never seem to have room for sitting down for 15 minutes to read my Bible and pray. I usually do it before I go to sleep, since that's when I can concentrate best. But when it comes down to getting 15 minutes of sleep or reading my Bible, I'm never coherent enough at that point to actually make the better choice.

And with that, I leave you all to your business.

EDIT: I am aware that "hooray" is spelled with one two O's. The single O is purposeful.
Bickering About
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Things have normalized, life is normal, things are good. The PSAT left me amused, I expected something difficult. The hardest part was doing the 38 questions in 30 minutes (I am slow, teh woe), which I managed to do. I only omitted 4 question, hooray me. I expect a good score.

For my college major I put down 303 - Computer Science. I was doing a little research on all the fields that I've been interested in, to find out that a lot of them were not quite what I'm looking for. Ideally, I'd like something that combines Software Engineering, Number Theory (those two combined equal Computer Science, basically), and an engineering science, like Physics, Astrophysics, or Biomedical. I was slightly disappointed by what wiki had to say about Biomedical engineering, but then again, the article wasn't of great quality, so I'm doubting it was entirely accurate, but doing something that, say, involved designing the software for some hospital machine would be cool. I've always been kinda interested in physically healing people (dude, I play a Medic in BF2, a priest in WoW, you get the idea), but I can see that fading out or being disillusioned out of.

In any case, Computer Science is about as good as it gets right now, and so that's what I put down. It's fun planning out your life.


A word about BF2, if I may. I was pretty excited to get it free with the video card, but my enthusiasm has been mildly curbed since. It has to be one of the most poorly coded games I've ever played. It crashes constantly, the graphics engine is grossly inefficient, the memory management is horrible, it has horrible glitches that are glaringly obvious and yet not fixed, and a lot of the gameplay is flawed. It's kinda fun, but it's a lot of pain for only a marginal amount of fun. The thing I hate most is the artillery. I honestly don't think it has any good use. Your commander can call it in on any area viewed by a person on the team, but to be of use, enemies have to be there, and if there are enemies, there are friendlies. It teamkills almost as much as it kills. There are also other balancing issues that I don't like (ex. if you're on foot, all vehicles are going to murder you without fail, unless you're an unsees anti-tank infantry, and the only vehicles I've ever seen do anything besides make for fast transportation are the tanks, helicoptors, and airplanes), and yet despite these I've had some fun playing it. The gameplay is dynamic enough to make it worth playing, anyways. If I had more memory and a faster harddrive, that would make it a little more worth playing.


Anyways, this homework isn't getting done on its own.
The Glorious
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A few changes to note - I have put links into the header images. The only one that actually takes you somewhere is the files tab. I've set up a semi-primitive photo gallery with which you can browse my collection with great ease. The template is probably about as developed as it will get (it matches the color scheme, displays fine, and reads fine, good enough).

The wedding trip was good. It caused a lot of trouble as far as school goes, which I'm only just now recovering from. All of my teachers have been unhappy with my attendance record thus far. And I've failed more than one test. But, I'm getting back on track, so I expect things to go back up.

We left Friday morning, had an uneventful 9 hour drive, got to the town "Chelsea, Michigan" at about 9:00 PM, had some nasty pizza, greeted our host (don't know their names, they were a little odd), and sprinted off to the theatre to catch the 10:15 showing of Serenity. My friends, if you have not seen this movie, do yourself a favor, and see it. It was extremely good.

If you are unaware as to the nature of Serenity, it's a movie based off the series Firefly. Firefly was one of Fox's 'create and cancel' swarm, lasting only 10 episodes because every episode occured on a different day at a different time each week. It's a sci-fi thing, but it's not an in-your-face type in which each character's personality is defined by the hyperbalinrakonater in their respective weapons. If you know what I mean. It's good stuff, go watch it.

Saturday afternoon we ran off and visited Josh, John (I forgot to take pictures of them, sorry), and my Uncle for a few hours before the wedding. I had some good talks with all of them, and as always, that good old Froehlich thing makes it all a lot cooler. The wedding itself (that is, the wedding of my Uncle, and I guess my "Aunt Pat", as of now) was short and sweet, lasted about 15 minutes, occuring in a tiny Methodist church in town.

As for linking pictures, it's gonna be a lot easier for me to just link to the galleries on not-so-exciting points. Teh woe.

Wedding Photos.

The coolest photos come from the ride back. It was at night, and I was bored, so I took photos with a 2-second exposure time. The bumps in the road and a little manual jittering gets some cool effects. Here are a few of my favorites.

The rest can be seen here.

And now for story time. He's got me some pictures and told a handful of stories and stuff from his experience in Iraq, but I'll start from when he got home.

Mom and Dad got to see him arrive while I stayed back for school. Upon getting home a few days later, he handed me this, a product of his layover in Ireland. Much happiness ensued, overall, and Mom made lots of really good food.

Anyways, we were sort of in touch while he was in Iraq - we talked on the phone two or three times, and exchanged two or three letters. He didn't have much access to a phone, limited access to a computer, so letters were the main form of communication. Basically, his day was something like this (get ready for a bulleted list here, guys):
  • Wake up in the afternoon.
  • Clean up, eat.
  • Work from evening to morning (12 hours).
  • Eat, do something recreational for an hour or two (basically either play guitar or play cards, or maybe work out), go to a meeting, clean up.
  • Sleep.
He always ran 12-hour shifts, but they'd change the time of them every 2 weeks, so he could never adjust to them fully. He would work 6 days a week (days off on Sunday), but couldn't go anywhere on his day off. The only time he left the camp was for an escort every few months, basically meaning he'd sit in a Humvee for the majority of a day. And the camp is not an exciting place to be. Just look.

Not exciting. It's a very bleak place, completely surrounded by walls. Of course, if you put 3 different groups of people that all hate eachother almost as much as they hate America, then you have a little more excitement. The detainees in the camp are all mostly worthy of being there (estimated at a little over 90% were true threats to the American presence in Iraq, note I say in Iraq), and more than that portion hated the soldiers. But, interestingly enough, there were three factions (names escape me) that hated eachother and would be at eachother's throats any time they weren't fighting to break out or kill the soldiers.

Riots would generally break out about every week or so. These consisted of one compound (basically a fenced in area where the detainees stayed) screaming, chanting, and generally making noise, and then proceeding to burn anything and everything they can. "Wait!", you ask, "How can they burn things?". Thanks to the morons at Abu Ghraib, "the safety of the soldiers is being sacrificed to the media gods", as he put it. This means an inspector comes in every week to make sure that the detainees have everything they need - this includes a mosque, a Qur'an, prayer mats, portojohns, beds and tents, clothing, hand sanitizer, cigarettes, and a lighter.

Every one of those items were actively used by the detainees to kill the soldiers or eachother. The American (stress the American here) soldiers are not allowed to enter the mosque, the Qur'ans, or the prayer mats. This means whenever they do shakedowns they are not allowed to search there. A translator would go with them to make sure they did not touch a thing. Dozens of times, they would find knives (they're fond of the knives) pouring out of this stuff, but they couldn't do a thing about it.

Here's an example riot. This is how they begin, with a big gathering. It looks less intense because you don't see them jumping up and down and screaming in Arabic. The picture in the center is some religious leader (trr'rst), not of importance.

Here's where the other weapons come in. Most of these guys are issued jumpsuits. These jumpsuits come with nice, large, elastic bands. Combine that and fist-sized rocks taken from the ground and the cinder blocks that make the foundation for their tents and beds, and you have unbelievably destructive weapons. These things go through 4" bullet-proof glass like paper.

To disperse the crowd to make them easier to manage, they use helicoptors. It's pretty smart - they bring them in about 30m above the ground, at which the force from the blades will easily knock a guy over, as well as any unstable structures. Like portojohns.

Here's where the lighters, tents, and hand sanitizer come in. Meet the Purell bomb.

These are makeshift molotov cocktails, made of their headdresses, hand sanitizer, and thrown at anything. Highly explosive, and pretty darn destructive.

The hand sanitizer is mandatory, too. As for the tents, they're just massively flammable. The canvas is usually coated in kerosene or some other sealant to improve durability, resist insects, and weatherproof it all, but obviously makes the entire thing a disaster waiting to happen. After burning the tent down, they make some more permanent holdings. Meet the ramparts of the desert.

All these do is protect them from the barrage of rubber bullets. That's right. Through all this, the soldiers get rubber bullets, and some CS gas. Neither of these come close to stopping any determined detainee. What happens if they climb the two barbed wire fences? Oh, no problem, they just request ammo from the ammo dump outside the camp. The Americans aren't allowed to bring live ammo into the camp unless it's a hostile situation. Again, I stress the American part, not because it's not an American camp, but because whenever the British or Australian troops stop by, they have live rounds. In fact, they're not allowed to enter inside the compounds because of incidents with them killing inmates.

After all is said and done, the compound is pretty much wasted.

But of course, it's all back up in the same day, just like it was before. Pretty efficient, I say.

And that's a prison camp for you. There's not a whole lot else to tell, really, except for a few amusing stories.

Portojohn graffiti is a standard in the armed services, and one such example was a soldier's infamous mother. What was she infamous for? Nobody knows. But apparantly "V's Mom" is etched in every portojohn in the entirity of Iraq. There is no exaggeration here.

Some of the world's worst enter the military out of sheer inability to do anything else. One such soldier found his way into an Airborne unit at the camp. This man's lack of personal hygene was astounding - his seargants had to escort him to the shower every morning to make sure he showered, and had to routinely check to make sure he had washed his clothes. This guy always failed his PT tests, was generally just a completely unreliable guy. Now, on his uniform, he had a patch on his arm that said "Airborne" below his rank, signifying his status. After having enough of this guy's crap, a few guys snuck into his bunk, took his unforms, removed the "Airborne" patch and replaced it with an almost identical patch, stating "Shitbag". This guy never noticed his new found status, and the highly ranked officers in the camp were too baffled by his incompetence to correct him. And thus it stayed on.

Many of the worst detainees in the camp are those who are friendly, speak English well, and fluent in their actions. These are usually the ones who reported directly to known trr'rst leaders. One such trr'rst was known for being a complete jerk, starting fights constantly, always out to make as much trouble for the soldiers as possible. He was constantly in and out of the isolation block, as well as the median between the two, a small fenced area seperated from the rest of the compound. This guy doles out a lot of grief on the soldiers, so he was generally hated more than the others. One soldier found him particularly bad, and felt the need to express this. And he expressed this by entering his isolation area, dropping his pants, and helicoptoring the inmate.

The camp is a pretty big place, and empty compounds are steadily getting filled up by more inmates, so more units come in to handle them. The first night after a compound had been occupied, a controlled fire was seen within the camp, it was large, but not spreading, and no chaos was evident. The next morning, it was revealed that the new unit had gone through every tent and burned all the Qur'ans, prayer mats, weapons, hand sanitizer, lighters, and cigarettes that the inmates had, in one big pile.

Anyways, that's about all I have for you guys. I hope you enjoyed it. There are more pictures, so check them out.