Efforts to recall Judge Aaron Persky launched following Stanford Rape Case

Outrage over the light sentence and bias promotes call to remove Persky

Following his controversial ruling against Brock Allen Turner in the Stanford Rape Case, a recall effort has been launched against Judge Aaron Persky on social media. The massive backlash and outrage is in response to the light sentence along with the reasoning that Judge Persky gave. Now there is a social media campaign seeking to remove him from the bench.

The recall effort

A social media campagin has been launched in an effort to recall Judge Persky starting with a Change.org petition that was started by Maya Stark. She encourages people to mail their complaint to the Commission on Judicial Performance in San Francisco while also providing links to story about past rape trials he has handled. A second petition has also been launched by Maria Ruiz, which also has gained significant traction. As of June 6th, her petition has received 84,125 signatures while Starks’ petition has received 22,672 signatures.

On Twitter, anything related to Judge Persky along with Turner and the Stanford Rape Case has been trending.

Judge Persky’s decision has also been heavily criticized by the media, with the most notable being the Editorial Board of The Mercury News. In an editorial, they described the light sentence as, “A setback for the movement to take campus rape seriously.”

The Stanford Rape Case

Brock Allen Turner is a former student athlete at Leland Stanford Jr. University who was arrested for attempting to rape a fellow student behind a dumpster while she was passed out. He was convicted of three counts of sexual assault and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Judge Persky delivered the light sentence because he was concerned about the prison would have on his future. However many have criticized him for having a favorable bias towards the Turner for being a student athlete at Stanford. Persky is also a Stanford alumni and was the captain of the Lacrosse team.

This is also not the first time Judge Persky has come under fire for his handling of a rape case involving student athletes. He was also accused of suppressing evidence and violating rape shield laws during a 2007 civil trial in the alleged gang rape of a 17-year-old by a group of De Anza College athletes.

Written for Blasting News
6/06/2016
Original Article: Efforts to recall Judge Aaron Persky launched following Stanford Rape Case

Review | Doom

Once upon a time, the original Doom was seen as the gold standard for shooters as it defined the genre back in 90’s. However titles like Half-Life, Unreal Tournament and 007 GoldenEye had redefined the genre by the end of the decade.

Enter the early 2000’s; Doom 3 attempted to bring new life to the series but its fast paced action (by early 90’s standards) was replaced by a horror survival tone. Doom 3 was a success in its own right for being one of the earliest first person horror survival titles but it lacked the feeling of a Doom game.

As the decades passed, gaming would continue to evolve as titles become more ambitious in their setup or story telling. Which makes Doom the perfect title for those who want a simple old school shooter.

Doom takes everything players loved about the original game while giving it a few new gameplay mechanics and updating the graphics. The result is John Carmack and the team at id Software have shown the industry that this is how you make a f***ing shooter.

The story remains practically unchanged but this is a quick summery for those unaware of the original game.

Players take on the role of the Doom Marine, who wakes up to discover that the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) research facility on Mars has been taken over by demons from Hell. Doom Marine must battle the army of the dead in an attempt to close the portal and escape Mars.

Unlike Doom 3, this remake returns to the series roots as a simple fast paced shooter that gamers remebered.

The gameplay is simple, shoot every demon that is encountered while solving puzzles to progress. The game features the standard arsenal of a pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, Gatling gun along with the iconic chainsaw and the BFG 9000 (Big F***ing Gun).

A new mechanic introduced allows players to upgrade their weapons and power armor based on the players combat style. Gamers will also have to complete side quests and mini-games to unlock new upgrades.

Doom also feature multiplayer component which surprisingly works well with the overall experience. Another unique features is creating your own levels and having other players try it out, similar to the ‘Contracts’ feature in Hitman: Absolution.

Some of these features may take away from the old school experience that some were hoping for, but it adds a sense of uniqueness to the overall experience. At it’s heart, this is a classic shooter but it has also adapted for a new era while also appealing to a new audience.

However it’s never a real Doom game unless there is lots of gratuitous violence and this installment makes Grand Theft Auto V look like Minecraft by comparison. Those who are squeamish and sensitive to violence should probably skip this title.

Doom is the ideal game for those who want a simple shooter but have grown board with Call of Duty and the knock-offs it has inspired. At its core, this is a simple shooter that will take old school gamers back to the 90’s while showing a new generation what a shooter is suppose to feel like.

Final Score: 10/10

Written for 8Bit/Digi
5/18/2016
Original Article: Review | Doom

Top 5 Places To Get A Good Burger In Palo Alto

Palo Alto is a community that is best reflected by the selection of restaurants and food trucks that allow residents to expand their horizons. Yet if you want to be reminded of your carnivorous habits then fear not: there are several establishments that serve burgers. For this list, fast-food will be excluded and unfortunately In-N-Out will not be included because it’s just too obvious of a selection.

Max’s Opera Café

After a long day at Stanford Shopping Center, you might crave a big chunk of meat along with a cold beer. Max’s Opera Café has a diverse menu that includes their own unique hand-smashed burgers. Patrons could choose between an 8 oz, 10 oz or 16 oz of meat along with their own toppings. The fries are also delicious but so are the in-house BBQ chips.

Slider Bar

If you are craving a burger but would also like a unique experience, you’ll want to come to Slider Bar for lunch. This burger spot is well known for its specially crafted burgers and truffle fries along with an excellent selection of beer. Because we all know miniature versions of things are just adorable to look at, even burgers.

Slider Bar, 324 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA, +1(650) 322-7300

Palo Alto Creamery Fountain and Grill

Also known as Peninsula Fountain & Grill, this classic has been the go-to spot for those in the tech industry that want to take a break for eating healthy to enjoy that American creation. Located in the center of downtown Palo Alto near University Avenue, Palo Alto Creamery Fountain and Grill has an excellent selection of burgers and other American staples.

The Old Pro

Need an ideal place to watch a game while making the best of every virtue and vice? Then stop by The Old Pro. A sports bar in the center of Palo Alto, this establishment laughs in the face of all the bourgeois restaurants. Enjoy a few beers with a juicy burger or challenge your friends to ride the mechanical bull.

The Old Pro, 541 Ramona St, Palo Alto, CA, +1(650) 326-1446

Kirk’s Steakburgers

Located at Town & Country Village, across the street from Leland Stanford Jr. University, is the perfect burger spot. Kirk’s Steakburgers is the ideal place when you are craving a monstrous burger, like the Big Kirk, along with a variety of styles of steak fries. Its location makes it the perfect burger spot to check out before or after a Cardinals game.

Kirk’s Steakburgers 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA, +1(650) 326-6159

Disclaimer* – The writer was listening to Cheeseburgers in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet while writing this article. That will explain the many familiar references.

Written for The Culture Trip
12/11/2015
Original Article: Top 5 Places To Get A Good Burger In Palo Alto

 

Alien: Isolation still haunted by the failure of Colonial Marines

Sega and Creative Assembly are attempting to redefine the horror-survival genre with Alien: Isolation, but every attempt to demonstrate the games uniqueness has been overshadowed by the failure of Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Recently OXM reported on the struggle Creative Assembly is having in promoting the game while trying to escape the shadow of Colonial Marines. The article noted that many gamers who sampled the demo at E3 2014, tried to play the game like a shooter rather than a horror survival.

The games presentation and demo at E3 2014 had been praised by critics but gamers are still bringing up comparisons with Colonial Marines.

When the game was first unveiled on January 7, gamers were a little weary of the announcement with most of them expecting the it to be a failure. Since then; any news or preview about Alien: Isolation has always been meet with remarks that bring up the failure of Colonial Marines.

The moment an article about Alien: Isolation is published on a news site or posted on a aggravator site like N4G, the discussion will quickly be dominated by expectations of failure while citing Colonial Marines as an example of what to expect.

In response to the negative backlash, several game pundits were trying to assure their readers that Alien: Isolation will not be a disaster while encouraging them to give it a chance. Many were quick to point out that the game is influenced by Ridley Scott vision and not the James Cameron film.

However gamers had been quick to dismisses the pleas of giving the game a chance.

Alien: Isolation will be released on October 7, 2014 for all major consoles and the PC. With so much bad publicity, the development team will be under a lot of pressure to avoid another disaster like Colonial Marines

Written for The Gamers Progress
06/15/2014

Glenn Beck illogical opinion about ‘Watch Dogs’ ridiculed by gaming community

Glenn Beck has created a firestorm of laughter and backlash among the gaming community after denouncing Watch Dogs for teaching kids how to hack.

During a segment about the effects of video games on children, Beck claims that Watch Dogs teaches the player how to hack into other peoples smartphones and computers to collect personal data for their own personal use.

Beck further stated during the segment, “The idea here is they are teaching you to hack and then become the ultimate voyeur in other people’s lives, including their bedrooms, by hacking into their phones and everything.

To no surprise; the gaming community has denounced his ignorant remarks while he has become a laughing stock among members of the game and tech media. Many have been quick point out the fallacy in his statement while others have just called him out on his ignorant remarks.

Erik Kain of Forbes.com pointed out that Beck rhetoric has always been about Americans cultural decline while further stating, “So it’s really not surprising that he’s latched onto video games. Video games, to those who don’t play them, have a mysterious and threatening aura. They’re violent, decadent things.

Patricia Hernandez of Kotaku stated in her article, “Listening to him talk about Watch Dogs is kind of funny, since he’s convinced it’ll teach kids how to hack into his iPad.

Machinima official Twitter page stated, “Oh come on. Political commentator Glenn Beck believes #WatchDogs is teaching children how to hack

Watch Dogs creative director, Jonathan Morin, was quick to denounce Beck remarks via Twitter. Morin even responded to the remarks of his Twitter followers who mocked Beck’s misinformed opinion of the game.

Meanwhile most gamers have mocked Beck’s illogical connection to hacking or just say some offensive remarks about him on social media.

Despite Becks misinformed comments, many academic studies have shown that playing video games improves a subjects ability to make quick decisions along with overcome complex challenges. Meanwhile criticism of violence in video games has declined while the few that are published often lack any real credibility to support its argument.

This is also not the first time a political pundit ignorant remarks about a game has met with a backlash among the community. Most infamous was when Kevin McCullough of TownHall.com wrote an article that described Mass Effect as a rape simulator targeted at children.

Watch Dogs is an open world game that has players take on the role Aiden Pearce, a vigilante hacker, who is trying to avenge the murder of his niece. The game was released on May 27 for the PC and all major consoles.

Written for The Gamers Progress
05/31/2014

Criticism of violent video games has lost credibility

Despite advancements in technology along with the inclusion of mature content and themes, criticism of violent video games in the media has been on the decline according to the research of Greg Perreault.

The research attributed the decline to the core demographic became older (average gamer is 30 years old and has been playing for 13 years) and violence in video games having become accepted.

Giving credit to where credit is due; kudos to Perreault for conducting the first study on a trend many old-school gamers have started to notice, that is the controversy regarding violence in video games has died.

Perreault is correct that the core audience has matured and with it has video games as a media while the culture has grown to become a major element of pop-culture. In the 90’s it was just an expensive toy but today they are generating more revenue the movies at the box-office while attracting the talents of Hollywood icons.

During the progression; real scientific studies were done on the effects of video games on the audience and they have killed the myth that it “breeds killers”. Meanwhile studies have unveiled the positive effects video games have on the player such as rapid decision making, better overcoming complex problems, helping to develop effective organization skills.

The end result has been that any outrage about violence in video games can no longer be taken seriously while anyone who brings up the junk science is dismissed.

Such an example to look at would be Cassie Rodenberg and her in-depth critic about allowing gamers to have interactions with prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto. According to her observation of students who played the game; such a feature mentally justifies violence against women while recanting the struggles of a real women who are forced into such a life.

Rodenberg would have made a strong case were it not for one minor problem, she wrote her critical analysis in 2013 about Grand Theft Auto V. In no time readers began to pick apart and destroy her entire argument based on a naive approach to an outdated troupe of moral outrage.

Given how critics have praised the game for its thought provoking story that presents an in-depth analysis of the American Dream in a post-2008 crash society in a style influenced Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson, Rodenberg decision to focus on a controversy that is a decade old and very insignificant to the story gave the impression that she was too stupid to understand the games significance.

However; Rodenberg has not been the only person to debate the subject using an outdated mindset. Nobody could forget about the fake gamers at Salon.com and this example of a childish banter that tries to denounce the violence in video games using junk science and the writers own political outlook.

The very few times a video game has been criticized for its violent content was because of some very disturbing element that should always concern audiences. The content in question have been the obvious issues of rape and gruesome torture. No matter how mature the audience becomes; rape and torture will always be something disturbing while its presence in video games will never be tolerated.

The most resent example was the attention that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes received after the ESRB listed “Sexual Violence” and “Intense Violence” as a listed content. This of course is referring to audio recordings of Paz being raped along with the open surgery she undergoes after being rescued. Despite the act not visually featured; the context of rape in any media is always going to be disturbing to the audience.

Several months earlier; Grand Theft Auto V was criticized for a plot point that required the player to torture a suspect. While some accused it of glorifying torture, many gamers found the moment to be very disturbing and hard to play.

Finally who could forget the controversy regarding Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the option of playing “No Russian”.  What made this level disturbing was not the fact the player participates in a terrorist attack against civilians but the atmosphere of the environment with screams of terror in background while people are being butchered as they flee or begging for their lives.

These examples attracted controversy because the content was a subject that the general audience will always find disturbing. It was not a game of simple blood and violence but a moment that the player would never forget.

As video games continue to the advance the story will explore darker and more mature themes that is going to attract controversy. However bickering about the simple of violence is an outrage that nobody is going to take seriously as the culture has moved pass that point.

Written for The Gamers Progress
04/5/2014

Review: Raices Cubanas 1941 by Alec Bradley

Several weeks ago; Bass acquired several new Alec Bradley cigars for the store. Bass was at first hesitant to add Alec Bradley to his inventory (due to the negative feedback from his customers) but the guys at JMG International highly recommended theses cigars.

Among the selection was Raices Cubanas 1941, a new cigar that was introduced at International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association 2013 Convention in Las Vegas.

Raices Cubanas 1941 is a mild cigar crafted with a mix of Honduras and Nicaragua filler while using a Nicaragua binder and a Honduras wrapper. The cigar is presented with a colorful cigar ring that is decorated with a design that pays homage to the first half of the 20th Century .

In the past we have not been too impressed with Alec Bradley cigars as at best they felt like “give-away” cigars. Raices Cubanas 1941 however really surprised us and this was our final verdict:
Bass: 7.5/10
Stan: 7/10
Charlie: 7/10
Customer #1: 7.5/10
Customer #2: 8/10

Raices Cubanas 1941 starts with a nutmeg flavor that has a hint of pepper. As the cigar progresses it develops a rich ceder flavor that still has the scent of pepper. By the end it has developed an earth flavor but it still has that pepper scent. During the smoke; the cigar has a smooth and relaxing draw that allows you to really enjoy the flavor.

Our final verdict is that the Raices Cubanas 1941 is a great everyday cigar that anyone could enjoy with their buddies after a long work week. It has also encourage us to give the other Alec Bradley cigars that Bass got a chance.

For more info about upcoming events and new products, please checkout our Facebook and Twitter page. 

Written for Campbell Cigar Club
11/30/2013
Original ArticleReview: Raices Cubanas 1941 by Alec Bradley

Review: La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Diamond

Campbell Cigar Club is happy to be open for business once again after two weeks of remodeling. Hope most of you fellas survived the time.

To prepare for the re-opening; Bass visited his buddies at J.M.G. International when he was given some good news, the  La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Diamond had finally arrived.

We first learned about the La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Diamond back in October. It was during a special dinner at Taverna Bistro with Guillermo Leon, President of La Aurora S.A. The event was an opportunity for Bay Area cigar merchants to learn about current La Aurora products and what to expect in the future.

The La Aurora 1903 Preferidos was released during the 2012 Holiday season but due to popular demand we were unable to acquire a box until now.

La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Diamond is a full body cigar made using a Dominican filler with a Dominican Maduro binder and wrapped in a Connecticut Broadleaf. The cigar comes in a collectible tubos that is colored metallic black and decorated with an oval that bares the La Aurora logo.

The guys at Campbell Cigar have always enjoyed a cigar from La Aurora while the La Aurora 1903 Preferidos line has always been an excellent cigar. The Diamond is no exception as this was our overall rating:
Bass – 9/10
Stan – 9/10
Random Customer 1 – 8/10
Random Customer 2 – 10/10

One has to admire its dark wrapper and oily texture before lighting it. At the first puff we already were intrigued by the mix of hazelnut and chocolate flavor of the cigar. As the cigar progressed the hazelnut and chocolate flavor would fully develop while an ceder flavor can also be tasted.

La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Diamond was the perfect cigar to smoke in honor of the grand re-opening of the store. Campbell Cigar will be selling the La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Diamond for $29 (not including tax) per cigar and supply is very limited.

Written for Campbell Cigar Club
06/4/2013
Original Article: Review: La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Diamond