Spring Break Report ’09

For the first time in my college career I went away for spring break. Although I do thoroughly enjoy spending it in Dracut, especially this year since it was during Telethon week. From what I heard the Telethon was  success, although I also heard there were less Dracut celebrities on than usual, which is a big disappointment.

This spring break I heeded the travel warnings about Mexico and went on a trip with the UMBRC to Virginia to do some riding. Before getting to Virginia we raced in NYC at Grants Tomb, then raced in New Jersey at Stevens Institute. These two races demonstrated my serious lack of hammering ability, as well as my inability to races in crits at all. In the end I got pulled from both races. Oh well! From there we moved on to Virginia where we stayed in an old firehouse that had been remodeled. I say remodeled, but it was really only partially remodeled, it still had the entire garage downstairs as well as many other creepy rooms filled with wired stuff. Overall it was an incredible place to stay,  like something out of a movie set.

Lynchburg Virginia was also quite an interesting place, definitely had a southern feel. Every morning we ate at Barb’s Dreamhut, where I ate lots of biscuits.  The riding we did down there was great too, lots of good roads, and good climbs. The highlight was definitely climbing up the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 12 mile climb with some great views at the top. After spending the week riding in Virginia we left to race in Delaware. The road race was a good time and definitely more my style. More crits on Sunday, then finally the long drive back to the U.

Turning to the pressing issues of Internet law, lets talk about hate speech. Sounds fun! First though an article about “Virtual Rape”. This article (written in 1993) is wacky. It describes a lurid scene in a MUD, which seems like an old school Internet chat room. The highlight from the article is this line…

“As if against her will, Moondreamer jabs a steak knife up her ass, causing immense joy. You hear Mr._Bungle laughing evilly in the distance”

Wow. Looks like Mr._Bungle was gettin’ a real kick out of this encounter. The article goes on to talk about the suffering this caused the person “Moondreamer” in real life. This to me seems like a pretty good example of “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” This the Internet! You’re in a strange chat room! This is what might happen! I will cut Moondreamer some slack, its ’93 and maybe since its the early days of the Net, people are more sensitive to that kind of thing. Maybe I’m just desensitized to this sort of thing since I spend way too much time on the Internet, and have read/viewed stranger occurrences. But I remember fondly my days as a youth entering AIM chat rooms and messing around with people. I don’t recall any steak knives in asses, but it was still fun.

The article then describes a later scene in the same MUD room when the other players chastise Mr._Bungle for what he did to Moondreamer. What I find most interesting is this is all text based, no graphics. Imagine what it would have been like had these players had 3D avatars. Woah. I imagine some sort of weird Second Life scene taking place. Since the Internet still offers relative anonymity, wacky things like this will always go on. If something more serious like real sexual predators trying to meet up with unsuspecing kiddies (“To Catch a Predator” style) they yes, this should be monitored, however if you’re that concerned about this kind of “virtual rape,” its time to get off the Internet.

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