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A New Language

Well not a new language but a newly discovered language. There are officially 6909 living languages in the world. According to linguists David Harrison and Gregory Anderson we can now add one more to that list. They have found a distinctly different language among the Aka people of Northeast India. It is called Koro.

“When we began talking to the Aka people, they said there’s another dialect of our language. If you go down to this other village, you’ll hear this other dialect. We went down to the village and sat down with the speaker, and after hearing just a few words of the language, which turned out to be Koro, we realized it wasn’t a dialect, it was completely different in every possible way.” (YouTube / FordCochran).

David Harrison explains Koro had not yet been discovered because the speakers are culturally identical to the other people in the region.

“The speakers of Koro had remained invisible to outside observers because their bright red garments, the rice beer they made and other details of their lives seemed no different from that of the speakers of Aka, the socially dominant language in the region.”


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CNN reports comparing Koro to the other languages of the region is like comparing English to Japanese. Koro shares more similarities with tongues spoken in farther eastern Asia. The linguists speculate the language could have been brought over by slaves.

“Aka is the traditional language of the region's historic slave traders, and they hypothesized that Koro may have sprung from the slaves; though they said more study is needed to determine the origin.”

The sad thing is that only 800 people speak Koro, very few of them under 20-years-old. The language is in danger of becoming extinct.

As we contemplate and appreciate the value of language as a communication tool and try to document the past, it is astounding how much of our history and culture has been lost to the march of time. As we look forward to the future with its many promises, it is important to remember where we came from and how important our past is to forging our future.




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Bullies and Pranksters

What is the difference between a bully and a prankster? A bully may use or threaten to use physical force to intimidate a victim whereas as a prankster's aim is usually to cause embarrassment or mental anguish to a victim while providing "entertainment" for others. Both are wrong and may lead to unintended consequences. Below are two stories involving one of each.


The Prankster

Dharum RaviTyler Clementi


Tyler Clementi and Dharum Ravi were both 18-year-old freshmen roommates at Rutgers University. One night Tyler asked Dharum if he could use their room until midnight. Dharum agreed and went to visit his friend Molly Wei. But what Tyler did not know was that Dharum had hidden a camera in the room to spy on his roommate.

When Dharum turned on the camera remotely from his friend's room he saw his roommate engaging in sex with another man. He then sent out the following tweet:

‘Roommate asked me for the room till midnight. I went into Molly's room and turned on my web cam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.’

Tyler Clementi had no idea that what he thought was a private encounter was being recorded by his roommate. So two days later Tyler again asked his roommate if he could use the room. Dharum again agreed but this time he alerted his Twitter followers with the message:

hey, it's going to happen again. Tune in.

This time Dharum streamed the live video of the two men having sex. When Tyler found out that he had been videotaped he posted the following entry on his Facebook account:

“Jumping off the GW bridge sorry.”

And that is exactly what he did. On Sept. 22 2010, three days after being videotaped, Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

Dharum Ravi and his friend Molly Wei have been arrested and face charges related to the death of Tyler Clementi. Dharum is currently free on $25,000 bail. They both face 5 years in prison if convicted.


Dharum and Molly




The Bullies


Tyler Wilson

Next is the story of an 11-year-old boy named Tyler Wilson who attends Glenwood Middle School in Ohio. Tyler was attacked by bullies in his school and suffered a broken arm. Tyler had a dream which some of his classmates teased him about and some took it much further resulting in his injury. Tyler says this attack will not deter him from doing what he wants to do. Tyler wants to be a cheerleader.

Studies show that 1 in 3 Middle and High school students are the victims of bullying. Tyler Wilson put it this way:

"It feels horrible that they can't accept me for who I am.....It's my choice. If I want to be a cheerleader, I'm going to be a cheerleader."



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Baggy Saggy Pants now Illegal in Dublin, Georgia


Should wearing baggy pants be made illegal? Yes! According to the mayor of Dublin, Georgia, Phil Best and presumably many of its residents, it is now a crime punishable by up to 200 dollars in fines.

The amendment to the municipality's indecent exposure ordinance prohibits the wearing of pants or skirts "more than three inches below the top of the hips exposing the skin or undergarments." Patrolling for offenders will be left to local police in the town about 140 miles southeast of Atlanta. Violators could face fines ranging from $25 to $200, or court-mandated community service.

"That's not our intent, we'd (rather) not fine anybody but we are prepared to," Best said.

The mayor said after about a year of fielding complaints, he put the city attorney to work researching how other localities have dealt with the derriere dilemma. The result was that council members decided to put exposure due to baggy clothing in the same category as masturbation, fornication and urination in public places.


Personally i think it's a trend that has captured the youth of today. It is for all practical purposes a fashion statement, a way for young people to express themselves among themselves.

However, many people especially older people find it offensive to display your underwear in public. Many schools have banned this dress style but it is prevalent on the streets of any town in America. It transcends race and economic status.

It may be offensive to some people but is it illegal? Are laws against public indecency to be decided by local ordinances or is there a national standard for indecency?

Is it a generational thing or is there something more sinister to it? Is it a way for young people to rebel against society? Are our morals under attack?

These are some of the questions that lawmakers and parents as well have to consider. Parents especially have to ask themselves is it okay for my child to dress like this? In the end however, the way one dresses is their own business. I find it hard to equate showing underwear with "masturbation, fornication and urination in public places" as laid out in the Dublin ordinance.

It may be offensive to some people but if no "private parts" are exposed how can it be considered "indecent"? Is there a basic difference between a bra and panties and a bikini? At the beach a bikini is completely acceptable attire. What if someone wore that same bikini and walked down the middle of main street, would that be considered indecent exposure? Or if someone stripped down to bra and panties at the pool, would that be considered indecent exposure?

I think there needs to be a distinction between "indecent" and "inappropriate". When schools and businesses set a dress code policy, they are well within in their rights to do so. When government tells people how they should dress in public, they are, in my opinion, trampling on people's right to free speech, protected by the Constitution. Just because you don't like how I dress does not give you the right to legislate away my right to dress as I see fit.

It may not be appropriate in some people's mind to expose your underwear but there is no indecency in doing that. I consider the KKK an inappropriate organization to join but it is protected under the Constitution.

Riviera Beach, Florida passed a ban against sagging pants in recent years, but the legislation was later declared unconstitutional after a court challenge. It remains to be seen if this ordinance in Dublin, Georgia gets challenged in court, but if it does, it will be the case to watch.


Court Drama: Attempted Suicide on the Stand

What do you do if a judge gives you a sentence that you consider overly harsh?

Beg, Plead, Cry, Get Angry? Not if your name is Marcial Anguiano.

What you do is try to commit suicide! In court, on the stand, in front of the judge. 

Marcial Anguiano, 47, of Duncanville, Texas had an extensive criminal history, in fact he had previously served five separate prison terms. He had just pleaded guilty in front of state District Judge Larry Mitchell, to aggravated assault for cutting his niece with a butcher knife.

He had hoped to be sentenced to probation for the charge. Instead Judge Mitchell, perhaps influenced by Anguiano's criminal past, sentenced him to 40 years in prison.

"He looked up at me kind of quizzically and said, '40 years?'" Mitchell told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "And I said, 'Yes, 40 years.'"

What happened next was a complete surprise to everyone. Marcial Anguiano pulled out a razor blade and "put it to his throat hard, and blood started gushing out." The courtroom bailiffs rushed the defendant, handcuffed him and led him to the holding cell adjacent to the courtroom, where he waited until paramedics arrived.

Dallas County sheriff's spokeswoman Kim Leach said the blade cut into muscle but did not strike an artery. Anguiano was taken from the Dallas County courthouse on a stretcher with his neck covered in bandages. He was talking as he was carried out and was hospitalized in stable condition.

Anguiano bled on the railing that separates the courtroom audience from the front of the court, and on the first row of benches. Mitchell's court shut down for about 30 minutes while custodians cleaned up the mess.

"If the bailiffs hadn't intervened, he was certainly capable of causing his own death," Mitchell said.

It looks as if Anguiano tried to sneak two razor blades into the courtroom. Before the hearing began, a bailiff noticed Anguiano holding something in his hand. The bailiff ordered the defendant to put the object down on the defense table. He complied, and the bailiff confiscated one blade. But a second blade went undiscovered.

"We have great safety procedures and policies in place, but we are looking to see how this happened," Leach said. "If there was human error involved, there could be possible disciplinary action."

What is not known is if Anguiano will faces additional charges related to his suicide attempt. Judge Mitchell said his actions were almost certainly illegal but speculated that the "40-year sentence is probably more than enough for him."



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Love Triangle Leads to Death and Imprisonment

Its an age-old story: Two women fight over the same man.

This story, which involves a Facebook feud, a high-speed car chase and a 3-year-old, however has very tragic consequences. In the end one woman (not a party to the dispute) is dead. Another woman is in critical condition in hospital and a third woman is in jail facing multiple felony charges.

Torrie Lynn Emery, 23, of Pontiac, Michigan was ordered held without bond by 50th District Judge Preston Thomas on July 24, 2010. She is charged with second-degree murder, assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and child abuse.

Torrie Lynn Emery and 20-year-old Danielle Booth had been feuding over a 23-year-old unnamed man who is incarcerated in a Michigan prison. Their dispute was at times carried on through the online service Facebook. Police said Booth had filed a threatening and harassing report against Emery.

On Wednesday, July 21st Emery spotted Booth in a car driven by her friend Alesha Abernathy, 21. An argument ensued and Booth and Abernathy drove off with Emery chasing them. Emery also had her 3-year-old daughter in her car. According to reports Emery rammed the other car during a high-speed chase which at times reached 100 mph. A frantic Danielle Booth was on the phone with the police during the chase.

Police Det. Paul McDougal, who was in an unmarked squad car, saw both vehicles rush by at speeds approaching 100 mph but was unable to catch them before the car in which the two girls were driving ran a red light at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Rapid Street and plowed into a dump truck, knocking it onto its side.


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Alesha Abernathy died as a result of the impact. Danielle Booth was critically injured and taken to POH Regional Medical Center in Pontiac. Torrie Emery, her 3-year-old daughter and the truck driver were not injured.

"It's unbelievable," Pontiac police Chief Valard S. Gross told The Associated Press as he described the escalating dispute that ended with Wednesday's deadly crash. "It's just crazy."

"How can you get that angry or that jealous, really, that you jeopardize the life of your 3-year-old?" Gross asked. "One person's stupidity, and look at the repercussions. It's just a ripple effect."

Torrie Emery’s friends and family members packed the courtroom Friday and shed tears during the brief proceeding. Emery struggled to speak over sobs and sighs during the video arraignment. At one point, Thomas had to ask Emery to speak up.

With tears in her eyes and a strain on her voice, Emery said, “I didn’t mean to kill nobody”

Immediately following the court appearance, Emery’s friends and family gathered outside and attempted to console her mother, Tracy Emery.

“She wasn’t trying to kill anybody,” Tracy Emery screamed while sitting in front of the courthouse. “Please have mercy on her, Lord.”

“I’m not asking that she don’t pay for her mistakes,” Tracy Emery said. “She made a mistake, but her intentions were not to kill nobody. Her intentions were to fight.

According to Sue Edmonds of Oakland County Pre-trial Services, Torrie Emery is bipolar and she has a history of failing to appear in court and violating probation.



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