Security situations, Media and You!!

There was a big hullabaloo yesterday at CCSU.  A student came to campus still dressed in his Halloween costume (snakes eyes from GI Joe) and it caused a big security scare and the campus was on lock down for 4 hours or so.  Read the article here:

So what?  So, I think everyone way overreacted and I’ve been trying to figure out why.  I think I’ve boiled it down to a couple of points.

Since security became a top level priority (pick a historic event to attribute this to), we have been told to call the authorities at the first sign of anything.  Don’t interact with the suspicious person or thing, just call security.  See something, say something.  That is what happened yesterday.  Someone saw someone else walking through campus dressed all in black and with weapons and said something.  I’m going to argue that ‘see something, say something’ is the wrong way to go.

I think that the suspicious person should be confronted.  In this particular I see that going two ways.  Let’s say the black-clad armed suspect is confronted by a passer-by with a “Hey dude, what’s the deal?”, or something similar.  If the suspect had no bad intentions they would explain that they have a costume on, they don’t have other clothes, and are headed to their dorm to change.  This could happen a few times as the suspect walk to his dorm, but more importantly the lockdown-search-danger scenario is avoided and people go about their merry business.

If the suspect has nefarious intentions he can do two things, attack the person confronting him or ignore him and go act out his evil plot.  If he attacks the person confronting him, now everyone in sight or earshot is notified and the attackers plan is more or less ruined.  There’s a good chance someone gets killed, possibly multiple.  If he ignores the confront-er and carries out his plan, there is still a good chance that someone gets killed, but no one is aware until it’s right on top of them.  

In either case, if the suspect has bad intentions, something bad is going to happen.  If the suspect doesn’t have bad intentions a big scene is avoided.  The biggest factor seems to be the security of the questioning passer-by.  In the bad situation, their life is unnecessarily put in danger.

I want to step back to the suspicious person being confronted.  I believe, this makes it harder for a person with bad intentions to carry them out.  A percentage of people are going to do bad things regardless of outside factors.  But a larger percentage of people with bad intentions aren’t convinced that they’re going to complete what they think they’ve set out to do.  If they are stopped by a stranger, I think they will be scared out of completing their plan.

I’m not saying that we should always stop and interrogate each other, rather that we should be encouraged to talk to every/anyone instead of calling authorities and following them. A general attitude of ‘be nicer and talk to one another’ is a better deterrent against extreme behavior than a show of force.


On a different and less debated point, the media blew this way out of proportion. They are trying to be the first to report news so they report any trash that’s thrown at them.  I happened to watch a live stream of a local news channel and it was disgraceful.  They literally kept repeating information that they got from a student who was in Dunkin Donuts near by who overheard someone else in said D&D.  How does a reporter feel good about themselves reporting like that?

They also asked anyone who would stand in front of a camera about their feelings on the CCSU situation and Sandy Hook almost a year ago.  Seriously.  The news had zero proof that anything had happened and they were asking someone who “woke up at noon” how this compared to the tragedy last December.  Utterly disgusting.


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Smart boards use

This past week we had a professional development day.  I won’t go into the part about why PD days are frustrating, but regardless I ended up giving a small workshop on the Smart board (link) and how I use it.  One of our school goals this year is to improve ‘technology’ integration in lessons.  I’ll explain why technology is in quotes later.

The workshop went fine for such short notice and it left me and a bunch of other staff wanting to do more with the boards.  I started working with it some and set up a few things, but now I have more focus for one class.

I’m trying to put together a collection of Vex robotics parts for the Smart notebook software.  It’s getting kind of difficult to find images of the different parts from straight on.  All the ones I can find are in a semi isometric view and don’t work well for use on the board.

I’m also mac based, so I can’t grab images from solidworks or anything and use those.  Any suggestions or help with pictures or illustrations of parts would be very helpful.

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I’m back

Recently, I’ve wanted to get some more information out there to people. Plus, I have the hopes of others out there finding this and contributing ideas or offering help. So I’m going to start writing in here more. Starting with…

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My Cancer Scare

Now that I have real answers for everyone, I’ll give you an update on the bummer messages I posted a few weeks ago.  Here’s the not-too-much-detail full story.

Around the end of the school year, I had some pain and found a lump on my body where there should be no lump.  That lead to a series of doctors appointments, tests, and all that jazz.  The final diagnosis was 95% chance of cancer.  The only definite way to know was to operate, remove it and do the tests.  In the meantime I hadn’t felt sick at all and the bloodwork results came back normal, which was a good sign.

That procedure happened last Friday and I’ve been recovering since.  The pathology results are in: I fall in to the 5%.  NOT cancer.  Overall, good news.  I’ll be fully recovered by the time school starts again.  Phew.

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Another spam?

Here’s an older one, but is kind of weird.

date Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 3:17 PM
subject Direct Access order confirmation
Blockuster Online
Hello MARY K, Account Number: 19441752

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  • Check due dates for store rentals
  • Verify that store rentals have been returned
  • See your store rental history

Linking accounts is fast and free! Just follow the link and log in with the temporary password below to get started. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours after your receipt of this email before you will be able to link your accounts. If you are unable to link your accounts using the link below, please try again on another day.

Link Your Accounts

Temporary Password: 639676787

Order Details
Total Paid: $5.43

Shipping Address
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About Us  | Customer Service  | Privacy Policy and Business Content  | Terms and Conditions


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Spam Emails?

I’m going to post these emails that I get that aren’t quite spam.  You can make up your mind what they are.  Here’s the first one:

date Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 5:19 PM
subject BlackBerry® ID Successfully Created
hide details 5:19 PM (1 hour ago)

Congratulations dcsd204,

A BlackBerry® ID with this email address has been successfully created.

BlackBerry® ID makes managing your BlackBerry® services easier. Learn more about your BlackBerry® ID by visiting:

If you did not create or do not recognize this account, please click here to delete this BlackBerry ID. ———————————————————————
This transmission (including any attachments) may contain confidential information, privileged material (including material protected by the solicitor-client or other applicable privileges), or constitute non-public information. Any use of this information by anyone other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please immediately reply to the sender and delete this information from your system. Use, dissemination, distribution, or reproduction of this transmission by unintended recipients is not authorized and may be unlawful.

Yes, I clicked and deleted the account.


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Long time coming

It has been quite a while since I wrote anything here. Looking back on the entries, almost a year since something original. What has happened to me since then?

Last summer brought a job working at the state department of education. It was typical clerical work, nothing exciting. In the fall I started my student teaching. I did 8 weeks in a middle school and 8 weeks in a high school. Both experiences were great. All the teachers I worked with were great guys and people that I’m going to keep in touch with. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from them. I am truly thankful for everything they taught me.

After that I graduated in December. That led to the post-college job search. It was even weirder for me looking for a teaching position mid-school year. There were a few jobs open and I applied for most all of them. One that came up seemed like a perfect fit and a huge opportunity. I really tried for it and ended up getting the position. I started my first full time teaching job mid-year and so far have been loving it.

I teach two engineering courses, CADD, and architecture. I also have the opportunity to re-write curriculum over the summer and tailor the courses exactly how I want. I couldn’t ask for anything more within my first year of teaching. It’s been great.

Since I’ve been teaching, I haven’t had much time to sit and read through my RSS feeds and pull out interesting articles for you. I may try to start doing that again to help keep me sane.


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