Category Archives: Uncategorized

Santa Cruz Personal Rapid Transit

I stumbled upon this website today and have no idea whether it’s a serious or a joke.

Living in Santa Cruz really has screwed up my irony radar.

A little research leads me to believe this is very much a real thing.


I kinda want a podcar. 


The Mystery Spot

I finally visited the Mystery Spot last weekend. I’d hoped to post a full count of my experience here, but instead I’m just annoyed.

A friend and I got chastised by the guide for laughing, and were told that it wasn’t time for fun yet.

This left me baffled. When exactly is the time for having fun at the Mystery Spot if not then?

Are California's rape laws in need of overhaul?

This is pretty shocking. A state appeals court has just overturned the rape conviction of a man alleged to have pretended to be a woman’s boyfriend and then had sex with her.

See the American Bar Association Journal’s take here: “California appeals court rules sex by impersonation is not rape when the woman is unmarried.”

What’s most interesting about this isn’t the overturning of the conviction. It’s the reason the court did so. I am not familiar enough with this particular case out of Riverside County to have any sort of opinion on whether the defendant actually was guilty of the crime. There very well may be sufficient evidence to prove he was wrongfully convicted. I’m not going to even pretend to have full knowledge of that. However, the issues the case brings up about the current anomalies in state laws are incredibly interesting.

Here’s the thing: apparently the state’s current rape laws are written so that technically, a man who impersonates a woman’s boyfriend to have sex with her is not considered to be guilty of rape. However, were she married and he pretended to be her husband to have sex with her, that would be considered rape.

From the 2nd District Court of Appeals’ decision:

A man enters the dark bedroom of an unmarried woman after seeing her boyfriend leave late at night, and has sexual intercourse with the woman while pretending to be the boyfriend.  Has the man committed rape?  Because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no, even though, if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes.”

Just think about this for a minute. Pretty mind-blowing, right? The state’s law clearly needs re-writing if it can be used in such a manner. The statute uses the word spouse. Is spouse in this case only narrowly defined as the person to whom you are legally married? What about domestic partnerships?

See the court’s full decision here.

The prosecution relied on two theories to convince jurors that rape was committed. One of the theories had to do with the woman being asleep, and the second had to do with the idea that it was rape because trickery/impersonation was involved. The appeals court’s ruling essentially says that the latter theory can’t support a rape conviction because of the way the law is currently written. The prosecution may only retry the case on the former theory, the appellate justices wrote.


Starting out 2013 on a weird note

A crop of what will undoubtedly be some of my favorite stories of the entire month all seemed to occur on the very first day of 2013. I can only assume this bodes well for the rest of the year.

Panty Raid

  • In the early morning hours of Jan. 1, a teen was arrested on suspicion of burglary. Police say a woman saw him fleeing from her bathroom window. The best part, however, is what he was found with: several pairs of her underwear along with pairs belonging to another woman/women.

Samurai swords: the new weapon of choice?

Shooting goats

From the annals of Santa Cruz history: the Bandler murder trial

I love reading about old cases here in Santa Cruz County. One of the most interesting cases I’ve been reading about lately has to do with a form of psychotherapy invented here in Santa Cruz called neurolinguistic programming.

One of the founders, Richard Bandler, apparently became swept up in drug use and before long, found himself on trial for the murder of a prostitute and student named Corine Christensen. He was eventually acquitted, but the whole sordid story behind it is fascinatingly weird. Mother Jones had a good account back in 1989.

Incidentally, in a few weeks it will be the 25th anniversary of Bandler’s acquittal. I’m trying to find out where the key players are now.

Does anyone remember this story? Were you living locally at the time?

This case has also, perhaps unsurprisingly, garnered a lot of conspiracy theories....

Dreaming of a white Christmas

It’s ten days before Christmas and I am beyond far behind on preparations. I never got a tree, much as I wanted to this year. I only managed to light the menorah for five of the past eight nights because I wasn’t home. I never got my cards together. I haven’t even begun to put together packages to send back east. Frankly, I am completely lacking in Christmas spirit. This isn’t atypical for me. It’s been a long time since I liked Christmas. Most years I find myself feeling like Charlie Brown, wondering just what precisely the point of Christmas is. I get overwhelmed by the commercialism, the pressure, the feeling of trying to cram activities into busy schedules. And don’t get me started on Christmas music. I hate Christmas music. Hate it. The one exception might be “Last Christmas,” but that’s simply because, well, how you can you ever go wrong with Wham!?

This year marks the second Christmas I will spend away from my loved ones on the east coast, much to my great chagrin. I’m sure this has a lot to do with my particular apathy toward the holiday this year. However, I believe it also has a lot to do with the weather. Christmas and snow, ice and cold weather and inextricably intertwined. It’s nearly impossible for me to be thinking about the holidays when it is still warm enough to walk on the beach. I mean, I don’t even have to worry about scraping ice off my windshield here, or thawing the icicles in my hair before I go into work. I imagine that after living here long enough, you overcome this mental block. I’m curious to know exactly how long it will take me. A year and a half is definitely not long enough.

Homeless Hacker featured in Ars Technica

In case the self-proclaimed “homeless hacker” Christopher Doyon had fallen off your radar, never fear.

He’s back, sorta, thanks to a profile in the tech geek website Ars Technica.

The piece details his adventures from hacking the county’s websites to getting hit with federal charges, to then skipping bail and leaving local attorney Ed Frey to foot the bill.

Read the entire thing here.

Incidentally, Linda Lemaster — who was sentenced to community service last week for an illegal lodging conviction — said during her trial that she was stayed at the courthouse past dark to take care of Doyon during the Peace Camp 2010 protest.