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    • Work Related, Need to Vent

    • Posted by government spy on 30 Dec 10
    • Alright, a few hours ago, when I got to work, I was told an inmate on my housing unit had a seizure earlier in the shift, but because nobody saw it actually happen, that he had faked it. The inmate had a cut on his forehead, and it was decided that he must have been in a fight, and the "seizure story" was an attempt to cover it up.

      Ignoring the fact that this white supremacist inmate had a serious history of violence, that there would be no way for this inmate to be hit in the face that hard without causing a serious violent incident on the unit that no one could have missed.

      I was told not "to bother medical unless the inmate was having a seizure."

      When I got to work, I was informed that medical had already seen the inmate and refused him any treatment. Since the inmate was on a psychology watch list, I was told to notify the chief psychologist of the situation. I spent the next hour attempting to contact the Dr., and finally he interviewed the inmate.

      The psych discovered that the inmate had been taken off of his medication last month, and that he should be placed back on the medication ASAP. The inmate stated that he was afraid of having another grand mal seizure, that he was afraid of the injuries he could sustain during the seizure.

      The inmate later approached me, saying he felt a seizure was imminent. I called medical on the radio, several times with no response. The inmate collapsed in my office in front of me and began to hit his head on the floor. His cellmate who was nearby, grabbed him and held him as he continued to have a seizure.

      I had to activate an alarm on my radio to obtain any response from the medical staff. When staff arrived, there was no attempt to examine the inmate during his seizure. He stopped moving, and was unconscious. At no time did the medical staff member enter the office or examine the inmate. When my LT. asked her how she wanted us to transport the inmate to medical, she responded that he was faking and that he didn't need to go to medical, as the inmate lay bleeding on my office floor.

      After all the inmates had been secured, I kind of exploded at the nurse. Really? He faked it. I must have imagined the whole thing. I'm glad her medical expertise is so proficient that while I was there, the whole time, her viewpoint outside my office, after the fact, was able to verify that there is nothing wrong with the inmate.

      The explanation I was given, was because the inmate had a seizure in my office in front of me, with his cell-mate nearby, that of course he was faking. He had planned it all day.

      That's right, how obvious. He was told that because he had a seizure that no one witnessed, then he was faking it. And when he stayed near an officer so that when he had another seizure, someone would witness it, that also meant he was faking it. I can see it so clearly now. And his cellmate couldn't possibly have been nearby because he cared about the inmate, no that's completely unreasonable.

      Look, I get the guy is a Nazi. I hate Nazis. I have an anti-swastika tattoo on my arm from my old punk rock days where we used to get in street fights with hammerskins and some people got hurt pretty bad. I still harbor some resentment for the Nazis there. I don't know the reasons this specific guy became a Nazi in prison, and I really don't care. Unless it's a security issue, it ain't my job. My job is to keep the peace, keep the unit safe and secure, and provide for the care of my inmates. Whether I hate a Muslim, Jew, Nazi, Black, White, Hispanic, Russian, French or Middle-Eastern inmate has absolutely nothing to do with my job. For the most part, my personal politics get left at the door. Except, you know, for that part where I consider human rights to be non-negotiable.

      I have been a firm believer in the idea that the government should provide health care for its citizens. But if the Public Health Service that is responsible for inmate medical treatment is indicative of how the "Public Option" would be like, then I am against it in any form. I would rather suffer a heart attack with no medical response at all, rather than have a response by that nurse. She would most likely think I'm faking it.
    • Travel buddy needed

    • Posted by looneynerd on 29 Dec 10
    • Hey guys, weird post here, but I'm getting desperate!
      I am planning a backpacking trip to Europe between March 15 and April 19, 2011. My travel partners have bowed out of the trip because of financial concerns. I am in need of a new companion(s) to travel with, to help share costs and reduce my anxiety about traveling alone. I realize this is short notice, but if anybody is already planning a similar trip, or would like to go, I’d be appreciative.
      About Me:
      -I plan on traveling by using a railpass, and staying primarily in Hostels and Pensions.
      -I am spending several days of the trip with a friend in England. I can meet back up with you after my return to the continent. You can come along to England, but he only has room for myself.
      -I plan on spending several days in Heidelberg, Germany. I lived here as a kid and I’d like to visit several places while I’m there. Apart from Heidelberg and my Trip to England, I am open to most other destinations in Europe accessible by rail. A trip to Bavaria is a must, but this still leaves at least two weeks of traveling around the rest of the continent. Again, I am open to most destinations.
      -I speak passable German and have traveled extensively (my most recent trip was to Turkey in 2008). This is, however, my first backpacking trip.
      -I am willing to meet people part of the way through the trip. As long as I’m with somebody for the majority of things, I’ll be happy. Multiple partners are welcome.
      -I’m an aspiring Historian, and would like to see sites of these interests. I sometimes drink in social situations, but am not much of a bar or club hopper. However, I am open to ideas on how to spend time on the continent.
      -My entire trip will cost approx. $3,500, including cost of my flight, railpass, lodging, etc. My plane ticket has been purchased, and I have the rest already saved. I plan of traveling cheaply but with some degree of comfort.
      About You:
      -Travelers 18 to 26 are preferable. I’m 23 but am comfortable with any traveler over the age of 18. Older travelers are of course welcome.
      -Both men and women are fine.
      -Non-whitechapelians who you know who might be interested are welcome too. As long as one of you lot vouches for them, I trust most of you :P
      -Any and all interests are fine, as are destination ideas.

      Please let me know if you’re interested. I really don’t want to have to cancel this trip! If you have any other questions, go ahead and ask, or hit me up at looneynerd at gmail dot com :D
    • Koreas

    • Posted by Rootfireember on 18 Dec 10
    • Just been reading the news about how the Koreas are getting tetchy with one another again,and things are tense over there. I'm wondering what would happen if they decided to nuke each other (does S. Korea have nukes?), and what would happen to the rest of the world if they did. Would we all die of nuclear radiation? Would we get cancer, superpowers and extra limbs? Or would it be like Haiti: watching another country implode, and not really giving a damn?
    • Crochet & Diaspora

    • Posted by Rootfireember on 4 Dec 10
    • Set up my Diaspora account (raven), and have been mildly annoyed that it apparently won't allow me to do line-breaks, and instead goes straight to "let us post this entry RIGHT NOW, Roo!" mode. I can get to the site on iOS pretty easily and make basic posts, but comments don't seem to work on iOS safari. I still have 2 invites left, anyhow.

      What have I been posting about? Mostly Crocheting. And Design Hell. And Crocheting. You see, I've been able to crochet a chain for a long while, but doing anything beyond that's been rather brain numbingly not-working. I tried the stitch & bitch crochet book, and found it's basic instructions to be made of gibberish, with diagrams equally gibberishable. Followed that up with the crochet answer book, and found out that lo and behold: I can make the world's smallest potholder. Better diagrams, and a lot of swearing seem to help in this!

      Now it's onto making a real sized potholder! But first a break, because I feel like my fingers are going to cramp up, and I need to stop swearing at the yarn.
    • My writing process

    • Posted by joshdahl on 28 Nov 10
    • (from my blog)

      Of course it's different every time, but this is roughly how I write comics.

      An idea comes from somewhere. With the Rapid City project, it is usually something that I have faced in my own life. Let's say, for example, I notice how addiction can affect lives.

      Then I start thinking about how that idea can be dramatized within the framework of my story. Because it is a superhero story, this usually means a fight. I have to think of ways that this idea can be presented as two different values in opposition. Off the top of my head, it could be something like an enemy turns out to be a former good guy who has gone astray due to an overwhelming addiction.

      Now I start to think about how this will work in the comic. Most of my stories are about the character, Kinetic, learning how to be a hero, so this one will likely follow that model. So, what is the lesson he will learn from this encounter? Most likely, I would go with something a little more personal, but for the sake of this exercise I will say the lesson will be "drugs are trouble".

      Now I start thinking about how I will lead Kinetic, and my audience, to that lesson. Usually, I work backwards. I think of the scene at the end that I want to get to. In this case it is Kinetic realizing that the man he is fighting used to be a respected hero, but an addiction has changed him.

      The next step is plotting in broad strokes. What are the basic things that need to happen to get that scene to happen. I have to introduce Kinetic and his respect for the other hero. Then I have to show that Kinetic does not take this addiction seriously. To keep it in the superhero realm, I am going to say that it is an addiction to some kind of power-enhancement. So, he thinks that the "drug" is not that serious a problem because it has not affected some hero he respects, then he battles some guy, and that guy turns out to be that hero. Lesson learned!

      Usually I write all of that in some kind of text document. Either an actual notebook or the text feature of a Celtx project. Very often I will run through this step many times with trouble shooting and making sure it all works.

      Once it basically makes sense, I start the tight plotting. I use Celtx's "index cards" for this. For each thing that I know needs to happen, I make a note card. It doesn't really matter what order they are in at this point, as I can move them around. Once I have my tent-poles in place, I start thinking about what I need for each of them. If I know that Kinetic must come into contact with teh positive effects of this drug, then I must put him in a believable (by superhero standards) situation where this could happen. So, what do I need to show to lead up to that? What does the reader need to know in order for each scene to make sense.

      In this case I need to show the reader what this stuff is, what it does, and establish Kinetic's opinion of it. Again, using conflict to express ideas works well is superhero comics. In this case I will have a fellow hero invite Kinetic along on a "raid" of some kind to bust people who are making this drug. Kinetic does not participate as the drug only affects those who use it voluntarily. Then a mention of "besides So-and-so uses it, and he's fine."

      Still working with the index cards, I make sure that each tent-pole has all of the information and story momentum it needs to stay standing. Usually this is a process of filling in gaps by asking "why?" or what then?". There is a bunch of juggling and rewriting at this stage.

      Because it is so focused on events, rather than ideas, this is where the story can run astray. Some really cool thing might logically happen next, but if it does not fit my "effects of addiction" theme, then I scrap it. Or find a way to make it fit. Or put aside for a later date. Reviewing my scenes with the thematic lens often reveals new ways to strengthen the theme and can help to further plug gaps.

      About now I have the index cards that will be all of the scenes of my story. Not every card is a whole scene, and not every scene will even make it into the final script. This is my "raw footage" of what must happen.

      In the same Celtx project in which I created the note cards, I open another comic book script file, this one I call "scratch pad". This is where I start writing my dialogue. I will usually start with some piece of exposition or conflict that I know needs to get done for the story to move on. With no thought to what is going on around them, I open up the characters and let them talk to eachother. "I think THIS." and "Yeah, well I think THIS!". I leave in all of the "umms" and repetitions and try hard to let the speaker's find their voices.

      Once I have the spoken part of the scene so that it leads where I need it to lead, I cut and paste it from the scratch pad over to the issue script where I created the index cards. Celtx automatically turns the index card headings into page headings, so it is easy to drop the dialogue in the right place.

      Now in the actual script, I start breaking the rambling conversations into discernible panels. The dialogue gets trimmed and tucked here. If a picture can say it instead, then it gets cut. The action and situation of the scene might suggest other changes as well.

      And then it is working it through again and again from top to bottom.

      Does the theme make sense?
      Do the main events express the theme?
      Are the main events made clear by the individual scenes?
      What would this character do?
      How would this other character react?
      Does it all express and support the theme?

      Then there is line editing for clarity, and it's done.
    • WHAT THE HELL ARE WE?

    • Posted by mister hex on 12 Nov 10
    • I know this is stupid but I've been thinking about this lately and it's just bugging me.

      What the hell are we, the people on this here forum? Are we Whitechapellers? Whitechapelians? Citizens or Denizens of Whitechapel? Whitechapelia? What? Please vote in the comments.