Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Prince Street Cafe

 Cafes are wonderful places. Some are simple, some aren't. Some are small, some aren't. Some are in bookstores, a lot aren't. I'm not at Borders Bookstore (they don't exist anymore) but I am in a cafe. Prince Street Cafe, on Prince Street in Lancaster, PA. Great place, great food, great coffee and wonderful service. Two of my friends work here so I like finding excuses to come and visit (as if I needed an excuse in the first place, I mean, it is a cafe).

 Open since '06 it's been a hoppin' place for years. It caters to the college kids from the two nearby colleges,  Millersville and F&M, as well as to tourists, theater goers who visit the Fulton Theater across the street, business men and women, and enthusiasts of delicious danties and coffee such as myself.

 Prince Street Cafe displays local art and photos showing off great talent from the surrounding area. The incredibly high volume of customers who flow in and out of the cafe makes for great exposure. If you're an artist I highly recommend contacting the owner about displaying your pieces.

 The whole of the cafe is an art piece in itself. It's design integrates a slight industrial architecture with a natural atmosphere. The cafe is supported with coal colored metal pillars and beams which lead to the open coal colored ceiling, pipes and vents and ducts all showing. But all this is magnificently balanced out with wooden flooring, a long wooden table for group gatherings, wooden benches along the back wall, wooden shelves holding plants and trinkets, and stone slabs advertising the delectable menu.

 The menu consists of your normal selection of coffees as well as specialties and teas and cold bottled drinks. They offer several different brew methods to allow for the best taste you're looking for. The tea selection is extensive and imaginative, as with just about everything else that is offered. There is also a healthy offering of wonderful pastries and foods. You will never be disappointed with what you receive and will likely have your taste buds pleading for more. Dairy used is bought from a local shop, and beans come from Dillanos just south of Seattle, Washington. Everything is fresh and delightful.

 It's incredibly easy to lose track of time here. Conversations draw on with free refills of the House Coffee, work and studying progresses while listening to the hum of others words or the music on your playlist, and amazingly the atmosphere allows for private reading despite the openness and hum, as I have witnessed.

 You want a relaxing time? A fun time playing games? Do you want to lose yourself in conversation, or just want a quick drink and a bite? Prince Street Cafe allows for all these things. If you are ever in Lancaster, PA I highly suggest a visit. You won't be disappointed, I promise. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Controversial Gun Post

Gun Control, it's the thing to talk about. There's speculation, there are stats and graphs, comparisons to this country and that country. Blame it on the person, blame it on the gun, the Constitution is old and parts have become irrelevant. On and on we go with our debates. Emotions stir, anger rises, someone missteps and someone else gets hurt.

Then, of course, since someone got hurt the cycle starts all over again. From the way I'm seeing things I think we brought this upon ourselves, and it'll continue getting worse. Obviously something needs to be done, but with everyone blaming someone or something else nothing will get done. 

First we need to be open to other opinions, discuss them in a civil way, and become educated on the other persons point of view. Next we need to know the facts, and ignore speculation and assumptions.

Fact: A gun can do no harm beyond the hands of a human; a creature which makes emotional decisions and has a knack for making mistakes.

Fact: Guns are made to cause harm and kill; both of these things require an emotional decision.

Fact: Some people are better emotionally equipped to use a tool with the purpose of harm and lethality.

Fact: The Second Amendment of the Constitution clearly states a right "to keep and bear arms."
As passed by Congress:
 A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
 A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
I urge that you click this link and at the very least skim the text related to this subject.

Actual interpretation, reasoning, and defining of parts of the Second Amendment differ as we have recently discovered these past few months. An understanding of the history and reasoning behind this Amendment is key.

When it comes to fixing the problem of gun violence it's important to ignore all current biases and search for the source of the problem, which...Fact: Is not guns themselves.

There have been 14 military related deaths since Dec. 14, 2012, the day of the Newtown, Sandy Hook school shooting, to date. From Dec. 14, 2012 to date there have been 926 gun related deaths in the US. This Military is obviously trained to respect and use a gun correctly as well as correctly responding to a threat, often times involving another person with a gun. Civilians, on the other hand, often times are not professionally trained to use a gun. Usually it's text, a friend, relative, another gun user, or personal convictions that make up their idea of how to correctly use and respect a gun. Considering the numbers above, it may be fair to say that the difference between military and civilian training, respect, and convictions towards weapons may play a quite a role in the amount of gun related deaths in the US vs. deaths in the military.

There is also the media, a slightly more controversial reason for gun deaths, but a very plausible reason, particularly when our most influenced age groups are being bombarded and saturated with violence and a complacent view towards guns. Children, when constantly seeing violent images, playing violent games, and not receiving guidance from their elders in the area of guns and violence to balance these things out, become complacent. But to be allow children to be so saturated and desensitized in the first place I believe is a huge mistake. This is not to say that all these games and media topics should be completely banned, that's impractical. But we have video game, tv, and movie ratings for a reason; so that minds that don't understand and can be negatively influenced by what they see don't become so. There is no legislation that is going to fix this particular problem, this is dependent on those responsible for children, they have the responsibility to protect and teach younger minds. The best the Nation can do in this area is to raise awareness.

Let us consider practical responses to gun violence, and let put our biases and differences aside and discuss with open minds to find a solution to this problem. Research gun laws, discover what has and hasn't worked in the past. Take a look at how other countries have approached this problem. And don't let the words of our leaders be the end all and be all. The direction this country goes is dependent on you and I, not on those in office.

Gun Related Deaths Since Newtown
Military Deaths-Filter>Country>US-Filter>Date
Note: Lack of a Record Returned only means info has not been released, not that there has not been a death.