If you guys haven’t checked out the Japple-Ack Tumblr who, I believe is run by Max Gilardi from hotdiggedydemon.com and I figured I’d share these 2 links since Max started doing pony parodies. (Warning hardcore pony fans may not like his work as it is a work of comedy meant to make fun of the series). I’m still thinking it’ll be worth watching oh and if you haven’t checked out the uh Ponycraft portraits (Starcraft 2)…

 

Twilight as a Ghost

Rarity as a BattleCruiser commander

Pinkie as Schwarzen– I mean Thor

Flutter as Medivac

AJ as SCV

Rainbow as a Banshee Pilot

 

He’s also done Portal Parodies so check out his works.

 

But the real reason I wanted to talk about this post was because I’m apparently, as of this post, 7 posts late to celebrate the 100th post of this blog, so happy belated 100th post? I haven’t really been watching post counts since I started posting shit in January, still it’s not big problem and overall but whatever, I just hope I don’t forget about the anniversary post. 😆 Anyway let’s move on to today’s news.


The dark side of shiny Apple products

(CBS News)

Even in this high-tech age, our most popular electronic devices are largely made by hand . . . MANY hands, as it turns out . . . hands that often are very over-worked, or so industry’s critics contend. Our Sunday Morning Cover Story is reported by Martha Teichner:

Just try to imagine 37 million iPhones . . . that’s how many Apple sold in just the last three months of 2011.

On Tuesday it announced revenue of more than $46 billion for the quarter ending December 31.

Tim Cook, the man who replaced the late Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple, told Wall Street analysts the company couldn’t keep up with global demand for the new iPhone 4S. “We didn’t bet high enough,” he said.

The world is in love with everything Apple . . . but here’s a question: Have you ever wondered where all that stuff gets made?

“I had never thought ever, in a dedicated way, about how they were made,” said performer Mike Daisey, an admitted geek. That is the centerpiece of his monologue, “The Agony and the Ecstacy of Steve Jobs.”

“Shenzhen is a city of 14 million people that is larger and denser than New York City. It’s the third-largest city in all of China. It’s the place where almost all your **** comes from.”

The show is an on-stage expose of working conditions at a factory in Shenzhen, China, owned by a company called Foxconn, which manufactures electronics under contract for practically every major brand you can name, including Apple.It is, as Daisey says in his performance piece, “the biggest company you’ve never heard of. Foxconn makes over 50 percent of all electronics in the world.”

The Foxconn plant in Shenzhen employs more than 400,000 people.

“If you’ve never been to the economic engines of China, these giant buildings stacked up with people, they’re just staggering,” said Daisey. “It almost takes your breath away.”

Daisey went to Shenzhen. Foxconn wouldn’t let him in, so he stood outside the main gate with his translator, talking to workers at shift change.

“In my first two hours of my first day at that gate, I met workers who are 14 years old,” Daisey said. “I met workers who were 13 years old. I met workers who were 12. Do you really think Apple doesn’t know?”

But what was news were the suicides . . .

“While I was there, in May and June 2010, that’s really at the peak of when the suicides were happening with kind of terrible regularity,” he said, “where week after week, workers would go up onto the roofs of these buildings and throw themselves off the buildings.”

(Credit: CBS)

“When you were there, were there nets around the building to prevent further suicides?” asked Teichner.”There was,” he said. “They look a lot like the nets you would put out to catch fish.”

“From the spike of suicides at Foxconn, we began to question maybe the harsh management methods drive the workers to commit suicide,” said Debby Chan, a project manager for SACOM – Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, a labor watchdog group based in Hong Kong. SACOM reported at least 18 Foxconn workers committed suicide in 2010, and more tried.

“We began to interview the workers, and then many of them told us they have work pressure – if they make some mistake they would be punished.”

Rest can be read here.

I’m not going to jump 3 pages. I know the article is huge and I know it’s about Chinese people being slaves to the system making apple products.


Hercules Family Battles Sex Assault Claim Against 6-Year-Old

 

HERCULES (CBS 5) – An East Bay dad claims a game of tag on the playground resulted in his 6-year-old son being accused of sexual assault – a decision he said was an overreaction by school officials.

The parent, who asked only to be identified as Oswin, said his son was accused of brushing his best friend’s leg or groin while the two were playing on the playground at Lupine Hills Elementary in Hercules two months ago.

Oswin said his child was kept in the principal’s office for two hours until he confessed. He was suspended, and a sexual battery charge was placed on his permanent school record.

“To me, I think it’s an overreaction,” said Marilyn Cheeks, a Lupine Hills Elementary parent

Legally, there’s no such thing as sexual assault for a six year-old in California.

It wasn’t until Oswin and his wife got a lawyer that the school backed off. District officials declined to discuss specifics. They did confirm that an investigation was conducted, and that the child could not be charged with sexual battery. The claim was removed from the boy’s record.

Oswin’s son is attending another school now. He said he only hopes no one else will have to go through what his family did.

 

And our final story tonight.


Commuter rail could soon be a costly ticket to ride

By Laura Krantz/Daily News staff

 

MetroWest residents might soon think twice about taking a Friday night trip to Fenway Park on the commuter rail, or even about accepting a job in Boston.    That’s because as part of its plan to get out of the red, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said it will likely raise commuter rail fares about 40 percent and eliminate weekend and late night service.

But local officials and legislators, not to mention commuters, say MBTA cuts and fare hikes will hobble MetroWest and take a sizable chunk from peoples’ pocketbooks.

“I have serious concerns about limiting the access to affordable public transportation and the impacts it will have on the quality of life of our residents and the economic vitality of our region,” said Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland.

The MBTA, $5.2 billion in debt, recently proposed the first fare increase in five years.

“The MBTA is by no means pleased with the prospect of having to cut service, but we are struggling to deal with a $161 million deficit in next year’s budget,” said T spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

There are two MBTA proposals to reduce that deficit, both of which would eliminate all weekend commuter rail service as well as weekday service after 10 p.m. One would raise fares by 35 percent and the other by 43 percent.

The T faces the highest debt burden of any transit agency in the country, its officials said.

As part of 24 public forums about the fare hikes, the MBTA has scheduled a MetroWest hearing in Framingham on Feb. 14 in the Memorial Building.

Officials will make a decision about fare increases after the forums end in March.

In the meantime, MetroWest commuters are already worrying.

“I’m thinking about starting to drive to work but that’s expensive,” said Framingham commuter Arun Radhakrishnan last week, stepping off the 6:31 p.m. train from Boston. “I feel I’m stuck with no choice.”

“We certainly understand the important role that the commuter rail plays in many lives,” Pesaturo said.

MBTA data shows that almost 5,000 people commute by train daily into Boston from MetroWest.

According to the state Department of Transportation, commuter rail ridership would drop by 20 percent with the proposed service cuts and fare increases.

There are an average of 3,300 weekend trips on the Worcester line and 2,300 on the Franklin line, Pesaturo said. One person traveling one way equals one trip.

On weekdays after 10 p.m. there are about 160 trips on the Franklin line and 170 on the Worcester/Framingham line.

Framingham State University last week started a new shuttle service to take students to the West Natick commuter rail stop.

“I suppose it’s a necessary evil,” said Framingham commuter Jeff Tarlin about fare hikes. “It seems you have to do it.”

But others aren’t so sure.

“There’s got to be something wrong that they would increase the fares that much,” said commuter Susan Horan.

There is something wrong, said Paul Matthews, executive director of the 495/MetroWest Partnership, a public-private group focused on economic development in MetroWest.

“It’s a financial crisis that’s a decade in the making,” he said.

The MBTA’s debt is the result of a poor funding system until 2000, rising operating costs and $3.6 billion of debt inherited from state transportation projects, namely the Big Dig.

But Matthews said the proposed short-term solution to reduce the debt will hurt MetroWest.

“The commuter rail is an economic lifeblood to and from this region,” he said.

Overall MBTA ridership increased nearly 6 percent last year, with 1.3 million trips taken every weekday. Matthews said rising turnpike tolls and gas prices have prompted many to turn to public transportation.

“In a sense, they’re held hostage to the rate increase,” said Bellingham Town Administrator Denis Fraine. Cities and towns along the commuter rail lines also contribute money to the MBTA.

Under the first scenario, a one-way ride from Framingham to Boston would jump from $6.25 to $9. A monthly pass would increase from $210 to $282.

From Franklin, a ride to South Station would cost $9.75 and a pass $306.

In the second scenario, which raises fares less but cuts more services, a ticket from Framingham would cost $8.25, and a pass $259. A ticket from Franklin would cost $9 and a pass $282.

As program director for the T Riders Union, Lee Matsueda encourages people to attend the public hearings.

“We talk about public transit as an economic engine,” Matsueda said. “I would expect the Framingham people to sort of stand up and say the same thing.”

Matthews said the MBTA shouldn’t be left to solve its financial crisis by itself. The solution should include a larger discussion about all transportation statewide, he said.

“There is a phenomenal correlation between transportation infrastructure and economic development and employment,” he said.

Spilka agreed.

“I understand that the MBTA needs to solve a serious fiscal problem but these proposed cuts to service will leave commuters in the MetroWest who depend on public transportation stranded without any other options,” she said.

 

That’s all the time we have for tonight, I will see you all in few days for another post…maybe, goodnight.