Friday, November 26

Attention: 'Black' in Black Friday does not refer to the obtainable bruises and black eyes while shopping

Retail-hungry consumers swarm a kiosk.
Black Friday is historically one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year and has marked the beginning of the holiday shopping season since the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924.

Sales after sales after sales can be found at pretty much every retail store and outlet on this hectic day and have resulted in fights and even deathly stampedes, like when a Long Island Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death in 2008 after a mob of shoppers smashed through the stores' doors as they tried to grab Black Friday deals.

Women and children race to grab discounted holiday gifts.
Many Americans look forward to this much anticipated day after Thanksgiving, but many do not stop and wonder where this notorious day got its name.

The earliest known reference to "Black Friday" was made by the Philadelphia Police Department in a 1966 due to the massive amounts of traffic and over-crowded sidewalks that the day would bring as it officially launched the Christmas shopping season.

Long line of customers waiting outside of Target.
The origin of the term "Black Friday" also comes from "when accounting records were kept by hand, red ink indicated financial loss while black ink indicated profit, thus coining the popular fiscal term of being "in the red," (loosing money) or "in the black" (profitable)" ("History and Origin of Black Friday").

Although the term seems to have been around for a few centuries, it did not achieve widespread use and popularity until about 2002.

The way I see it, Black Friday is the one day out of the year when it is okay for people to transform into barbarians and live up to the materialistic stereotype that we have been given as Americans.

Personally, I hate waiting in long lines and would prefer not to risk getting trampled on by retail-hungry consumers. Not only that, but I would also much rather get a full night's rest instead of waking up early to get those "door buster deals." So this Black Friday, I will be partaking in some online shopping, and if you are like me, I suggest you do the same.

Wednesday, November 24

Danbury named safest city in Connecticut

Danbury Police Department.
CQ Press' study of Connecticut's Safest City takes cites with populations of at least 75,000 and focuses on information of six crime categories gathered from the FBI Uniform Crime Report: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.

What is Connecticut's safest city of 2010-2011? Danbury, Conn.

"Our city is proud of this ranking," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, "and we will continue focusing our efforts on maintaining exceptional public safety."

Danbury's per capita rate for burglary and motor vehicle thefts have decreased since last year. However, its per-capita rate for murder has increased and although Danbury is below the national average in most of the crime categories, it unfortunately is above the average for rape rates.

According to Police Chief Al Baker, "the increase could have be reflective not of a jump in rape crimes, but more of the incidents being reported" (Perrefort).

Danbury is the 57th city in the nation this year, slipping 28 spots from its rank as the 29th safest city in the country last year.

Baker said that "he is very proud of all the hard work by the men and women in the [police] department that helped to make the city the safest in Connecticut for three years running" (Perrefort), and also credited the Danbury community and its good school system.

"This is something that we couldn't do by ourselves," Baker said. "There are many factors that make Danbury a great place to live."

Monday, November 22

Counterfeit bill discovered on WCSU's midtown campus

How a counterfeit $10 bill can be identified.
Nov. 17Federal authorities were contacted by Western Connecticut State University Police Department after counterfeit money was found at WCSU.

The counterfeit $10 bill was discovered by one of the Sodexo food service employees at one of midtown campus' food service facilities around 12:30p.m.

According to officials, the culprit has not yet been identified.

Sunday, November 14

WCSU student receives misdemeanor summons after shooting schoolmate

DANBURY, Conn. – At approximately 5:23p.m. on Oct. 26, Western Connecticut State University Police Department received a call from Andre Burgos, resident assistant at Litchfield Hall, reporting that an unknown party had shot a female with a BB gun in the Student Center cafeteria, located at 181 White Street.

WCSU Police Headquarters.
Sgt. Jeffrey Mould and Lt. Roger Connor were the first officers to arrive at the cafeteria first while another officer checked for a suspect near the main lobby doors of the building.

Upon entering, Mould and Connor visually scanned the cafeteria for any suspicious movements or actions then questioned several people including most of the Sodexho employees to find out if they had seen or heard anything out of the ordinary.

"No one reported seeing anything or hearing anything related to the incident," Mould said. "We then received a radio call that the victim was on her way to the [police department]."

Once Mould and officers arrived at police headquarters, they met and interviewed the victim, Sydney Hardwick, freshman at WCSU. Hardwick told officers that she had been shot in the inner left thigh by what she believed was an AirSoft gun.

WCSU midtown Student Center.
At that point, the only thing that was known of the suspect was the first name of Janzen. The dispatcher performed a name search which revealed a freshman, Newbury Hall resident by the name of Janzen Glahn-Janatka.

With this information, Mould said that he immediately responded to Newbury Hall and located the Resident Director who directed him to Glahn-Janatka’s dorm room.

“Janzen admitted to me that he was the one that fired the BB gun in the cafeteria,” said Mould, who seized the firearm, magazine, and ammunition belonging to Glahn-Janatka.

Mould said that Glahn-Janatka readily admitted to his actions, was very apologetic and cooperative, and stated that the firearm had discharged accidentally in the cafeteria.

WCSU's Newbury Hall.
Glahn-Janatka and Hardwick reported that while sitting at a table in the cafeteria, Glahn-Janatka stated that he had an AirSoft gun and removed it from his backpack so that it could be looked at under the table. Shortly thereafter, the gun discharged and a pellet hit Hardwick in the thigh.

After confronting Glahn-Janatka, Mould went to Litchfield Hall in attempt to find a witness of the incident since Hardwick, who sustained no serious injuries, was reluctant to press charges against Glahn-Janatka. Mould then returned to Newbury Hall and issued a misdemeanor summons to Glahn-Janatka for second-degree breach of peace and for carrying and brandishing a facsimile firearm.

After receiving the misdemeanor summons, a judicial write given to a person that promises they will appear in court, Glahn-Janatka was released from police custody with a set court date for Nov. 4.

Glahn-Janatka’s case remains inconclusive and he is scheduled for a second court date in December.

Tuesday, November 9

Wiz Khalifa arrested for marijuana possession

East Carolina State University students booed police and yelled "Smoke weed everyday!" and "You animals!" as Cameron Thomaz, better known as rapper Wiz Khalifa, was arrested on drug possession charges after a performance at the university on Monday, Nov. 8.

Khalifa was charged with three drug counts after police discovered about 60 grams of marijuana in his possession. According to ECU, police raided the rapper's bus after smelling marijuana backstage. It is also quite possible that police may have been tipped off by Wiz's Twitter post before the concert that said, "Smoke outs in Greenville NC tonite. Fall thru wit ur finest plant life."

Khalifa was released on $300,000 bail this afternoon, Nov. 9, and did not hesitate to post to Twitter: "man, jail sux! but bein taylor'd doesn't," letting his fans know that he was free.

A video of Khalifa getting arrested is posted under "Read More."

Tuesday, November 2

Earth unexpectedly collapses in German neighborhood

SCHMALKALDEN, Germany — Emergency services were called to a residential area of an eastern German town around 3am on Monday, Nov. 1, after a resident reported hearing strange noises outside.

Those unusual noises turned out to be the sound of a 60-meter-wide, 25-meter-deep crater opening up in the ground.

Six houses and 25 people in the area were evacuated. Fortunately, no one was injured, but a car and garage door were swallowed in the ground's collapse.

Although it is not clear what caused the ground to give-in, Lutz Katschmann of Thuringia State's environment and geology office said it was possible that underground rock formations broke up, thus creating the cavity.

"According to the US Geological Survey which explained the same thing that happened in Guatemala last May, sinkholes are commonly found in areas where the bedrock is limestone, or some other rock that can be dissolved by ground water" (Dots Period, "Huge Crater Suddenly Opened in Germany")

Monday, November 1

Truth about gender gap in intelligence

The saying "girls are smarter than boys" or "girls are more mature than boys" is something that a majority of us have heard throughout life. Although studies have shown that these statements are generally true, one thing that seems to be left out is the fact that studies also show that once boys hit puberty, their intelligence level surpasses those of women.

"The new consensus in the intelligence research in the 21st century [shows] that men on average are slightly (but significantly) more intelligent than women, by about 3-5 IQ points" (Kanazawa) but the reason is not because of their gender;  it is because of their height.

Research has shown that taller people are generally more intelligent than shorter people, and it just so happens that on average, men are taller than women.

Referring back to the girl vs. boys debate: until puberty, girls are on average always more mature than boys at any given chronological age, so comparing boys and girls, for example at age 5, is like comparing boys at age 5 to 7-year-old girls because the girls are more mature and thus have a greater cognitive capacity.

Height being the big factor for one gender being more intelligent than the other can also be seen when comparing boys and girls before puberty: when girls are taller than boys, and also happen to be more intelligent than them.

Graphs from the National Child Development Study (NCDS) in the United Kingdom, charting the mean IQ of the NCDS respondents by sex before puberty at age 7 (left) and after puberty at age 16 (right).

Due to girls' faster rate of maturity, they are more intelligent than boys until puberty, but the male advantage in intelligence emerges when boys are fully mature and become taller than girls.

All in all, the true reason behind why girls are smarter than boys is that "the sex difference in rate of maturity masks and drowns the sex difference in general intelligence" (Kanazawa).

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