Archive for the ‘Awareness’ category

A Nightmare Indeed: Irresponsible Parenting & Traumatized Children

April 29, 2010

I just came from a screening of the remake, A Nightmare on Elm Street, at Edwards Marq*E here in Houston and I may not be able to sleep tonight.  Not because of Freddy but because I am so LIVID at what I saw happen with the children at the theater.

Before I get to the story, here is IMDB’s description of the plot:

A re-imagining of the horror icon Freddy Krueger, a serial-killer who wields a glove with four blades embedded in the fingers and kills people in their dreams, resulting in their real death in reality.

What they don’t tell you about the remake:

In the original 1984 movie, Robert Englund plays a psychopathic child killer. In this remake, they take it one step further and add the twist of him being a child molester as well into the plot. That fact is not explicitly stated in the trailer or any of the promotional material. In any case, that’s not why we’re upset. The movie in of itself was actually pretty good for a new-age horror movie.

Note: Minor Movie Spoiler Alert

Here’s why Megan and I are so upset.

We get that a rated-R movie allows cinemas the right to sell tickets to children as long as a parent is with them. But the new A Nightmare on Elm Street should not be rated R, considering they have turned Freddie into a child molester who comes back from the dead to kill the children he molested. It should be rated NC-17 so NO child can get in. After all, it is a graphic and blunt theme in the movie.

Irregardless, this was a promotional screening so nobody paid for a single ticket. Prior to the commencement of the movie, the representative for whatever organization put this on was being very selective about whom they let in and were open about discouraging large amounts of people from getting in line for overflow seats. Out of those that remained in line, there was at least one family which included children of the approximate ages of seven, five, three, and a 4-month old baby. To accommodate this group, the representative walked them in personally and sat them directly in the front row.

These are the same people who fought with us about bringing a cell-phone in. In the theater there were at least 5-7 employees scanning isles for recorders and cell phones throughout the movie. Naturally, when Freddy started slashing people up the kids started crying. I heard not one, but multiple babies, in addition to toddlers, crying at various points in this movie. This whole time, not 1 employee asked parents to step out based on their kids disturbing the audience.

As A Nightmare on Elm Street wore on it was revealed that Freddy molested pre-school kids on top of torturing them, and the kids in the theater kept screaming. Again, not one employee moved but they were sure looking hard for those pesky cell phones and video recorders. The traumatized cries of the kids in the seats and on their parents’ laps just blended in with the sound effects and gore of the characters on-screen.

As we walked out of the theater, representatives for whoever handled this screening were asking movie-goers what they thought of the film. We first walked past and almost made it out of the theater before we walked back to tell these people what we thought.

“What organization are you with?”

Response: “A local group representing Warner Brothers… mumble, mumble, mumble…”

“How dare you let babies, children into a movie about a child molester?”

Response: “We can’t control who people bring to our movies.”

Before we left, we also posed the same question to the theater manager on-duty but all she could manage in response to our questions was speechlessness and a dropped jaw.

Tragic.

There are some parents out there that will say this type of thing is okay and kids shouldn’t be sheltered. I agree to an extent but children shouldn’t learn about the dangers of child predators from a movie like this in the same sense that parents shouldn’t pop in Ron Jeremy’s classic pornos to teach their children about sex. Seeing the wrong thing at a young age can have a profound effect on the young. I remember watching the movie It as a child and to this day, I still have a complex about clowns! Over-exposing children is NOT a good thing.

To those parents that brought their young children to this movie… shame on you.

I never thought I’d be “that guy” that would be so upset about an issue like this. Now that I have a 4-month old son of my own, I finally understand. Kids shouldn’t be exposed to this type of subject matter, in this way, this early in life. At best, you’re taking away their innocence and at worst, you run the risk of leaving a permanent scar on their ever-so-fragile psyche.

The same type of parents that would take their young children to movies about child molesters that kill them in their dreams have them dancing to explicit dumb sh*t on YouTube and think its cute. Get a clue! And for the sake of those kids, please find some common sense so they can grow up the right way.

Planting Trees for Life – Fostering sustainability for Haiti

April 27, 2010

Hello DNC Worldwide and friends!

My name is Rod Pardey, and my friend Mathieu Flamant and I are in charge of PR and Development for the nonprofit organization, Arbo de Vivo. Derived from the international language of  Esperanto, the name “Arbo de Vivo” literally translates to mean “tree of life.”

For our mission of helping the impoverished island nation of Haiti, the tree of life we refer to is called Moringa Oleifera. If you are not familiar with the moringa tree, I can tell you this, its properties are truly astonishing. Unfortunately, poverty in developing countries such as Haiti leads to starvation and malnourishment for many.  Moringa is nature’s most miraculous antidote to this calamity, and many refer to the moringa as the miracle tree!

Arbo de Vivo is a non-governmental organization that has been allotted over 300 acres on some very fertile land near the city of Cap-Haitien in Haiti’s Nord-Est province.  I’ve visited this property, and I likened the potential of the land to the Garden of Eden itself.  But Haitians, due to complications within their own government, have failed to utilize this tremendous natural resource.  Indeed, a panoramic view of the landscape reveals almost no farming being done at all.  Haiti itself is barely using tens of thousands of acres of arable land.  We at Arbo de Vivo are hoping to push the first domino of change, and end this tragic cycle.

Specifically, our goal is to teach Haitians how to farm the Moringa tree so that they can become a self-sustaining nation.  Arbo de Vivo is interested in helping Haitians achieve this goal by providing funds, tools, and knowledge to encourage sustainability.  As a start, we plan to build a pilot farm with an adjoining school in order to teach Haitians how to: set up, maintain, and manage a Moringa farm that can feed thousands of people.

We are excited about the prospect of meeting these challenges.  I invite you to examine our website to learn more about our organization.  We are eager to field your questions and to hear your thoughts.  I can be reached directly via twitter or via email.  I believe our best promotion for this work is an open line of communication with those who might help us.  Please feel free to contact me so that we can begin a dialogue.

Thank you, Rod Pardey

Watch this video to familiarize yourself with the Moringa tree:

Feeding Houston with Noah’s Kitchen

April 18, 2010

Good job to everyone who volunteered with Noah’s Kitchen this morning. In just a few short hours, we were able to put together and distribute 210 meals to the Houston homeless! I don’t know about you guys but I don’t think that is bad at all for a rainy Sunday afternoon. 🙂

Special thanks to Amber, Jennifer, and Candice of Noah’s Kitchen for putting this project together and allowing us all to contribute.  To the  DNC’s own Eddie, Gustavo, and Angela, thanks for contributing despite short-notice.  Thanks to Barry Laminack from thecagedoor.net for taking the time to give back to the community. Thanks to the rest of the volunteers as well. Very nice to do some good and meet all of you!

Noah’s Kitchen – Volunteer Slideshow – April 18, 2009

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Paying It Forward With Noah’s Kitchen – An Interview with Founder Amber Rodriguez

April 16, 2010

I’m here with Amber Rodriguez, Founder and Executive Director of Noah’s Kitchen, a non-profit organization providing nourishment, nutritional education, and other assistance to the under-privileged in Houston. We’re going to talk briefly about Noah’s Kitchen, their mission, and giving back to the local community.

Mike: Hi Amber. I met you last week downtown via Candice Kizer, who introduced me to Noah’s Kitchen via Twitter. She mentioned volunteering to feed the homeless with you guys so I decided to join in on a whim. I’ve volunteered previously but this was my first time for this cause. Truth be told, I was genuinely touched that we were able to succeed in helping so many underprivileged people in such a short amount of time. (business lunch hour)

Amber: Aw, thanks Mike! We were so glad to have you with us and appreciate all the positivity you have been sending our way. =)

Mike: I’m sure our readers and the community at-large here in Houston would like to know a little bit more about Noah’s Kitchen. How did you get started?

Amber: Actually, I got laid off this past September. I had to file for unemployment and wanted to make the best of my free time, with my son. We volunteered for the WM Superfeast and started getting involved with Charity Chicks of Houston. Noah loved being part of something good. I started talking to various people about ideas (I’ve always loved to cook) and before I knew it, it went flying!

Mike: What motivates you to champion this cause of feeding the needy?

Amber: I honestly can’t pinpoint it. For years I have picked up an extra meal at the drive-thru to give to someone holding a sign, declaring their hunger. I know their pride has been pushed aside for their need and that must be so difficult to go through.  It always makes me so sad. I don’t care how someone got there and what they are or are not doing to help themselves. They could be someone’s mother… someone’s father… And always someone’s Child. I don’t have money to give but if I can help make somebody’s day just a little easier by feeding them, I will.

Mike: My family and I briefly stopped by last Sunday for the Viva Houston Party you invited us to. To my surprise, you were front and center volunteering and playing host for that event, which helped launch the new community mural downtown. You seem to be very involved with these types of events locally, and I’ve seen the hash tag on Twitter – #SLGT. (Support Local, Grow Together). Our network here in the DNC family shares that exact mantra – good people & organizations helping one another. Are you always involved in these types of local events?

Amber: It was very nice to see you, your girlfriend, and handsome little guy make it out to the event. If I can be a part of something good and much bigger than myself – I want in! =)  Houston is an AMAZING community. It’s pretty simple actually. If we support our neighbors – it’s near impossible to fail. As the always awesome JR Cohen says, “It’s not about me- it’s about how I can help YOU.” We are so glad to have you guys be part of us – It’s wonderful people such as yourself that are helping us grow.

Mike: How is the local community chipping in getting the word out about Noah’s Kitchen?

Amber: Gosh. It started over Twitter and truly, word of mouth is the best form of advertisement. Amber Roussel and Mark Austin are doing amazing things for us right now. They are participating in the Fiesta movement and have pledged a car to Noah’s Kitchen if they win. They are participating in FUN missions which bring together the community and showcase a lot of local talent and businesses. During the missions they are raising awareness for us, volunteers, and donations to help keep us running. We have so much love for them!    Are there any other local causes here in Houston that you personally want people to rally behind? I honestly can’t narrow that down. I’m a firm supporter in SLGT and there are so many causes that they support. I look to them to know where I need to be. 

Mike: We’re taking up too much of your time here so just a few more questions….You have a meet-up scheduled for this coming Sunday at Coffegroundz. Can you give us some details on that and volunteering for Noah’s Kitchen in general?

Amber: Absolutely. We get together and make sandwiches and put together bags with an ‘affordable’ nutritious meal including a beverage too. (As we grow we’d like the meals to be hot and completely balanced.)  We then go out in ‘safety teams’ to distribute the food to the less fortunate. Everyone has fun and it seems like we are always getting new ideas on how to grow through these gatherings.  The ‘food’ dates are listed on our facebook events page. I’m currently working on adding events to our calendar so that we can have Noah’s kitchen Teams go in the community and volunteer at other various charitable events.  Mark and Amber set up a way for people to pledge hours to volunteer here, as well.

Mike: How can others help in the future if they can’t make it Sunday?

Amber: No contribution is ever too small. Whether it be an idea, time, food, or monetary (we really DO need wal-mart/pre-loaded shopping cards to purchase food) every donation is GREATLY appreciated. If anyone would like to contact us we can be found all over Houston and here:

www.noahskitchen.org;
www.twitter.com/noahs_kitchen;
www.facebook.com/noahskitchen

Mike: Thanks for your time Amber.

Amber: See you soon! Thank you so much for taking the time to find out more about us. I look forward to working with you again soon, too!  Cheers and #SLGT!!!

This Sunday: Benefit Supporting Typhoon Victims in the Philippines

October 14, 2009

DNC Worldwide will be supporting the BAHAla na Tribe in the Adobo Hoedown Benefit for Typhoon Ondoy flood victims in the Philippines.

If you want to support a good cause and have a good time doing it, you should be attending what is sure to be a good time at Adobo Hoedown. Event highlights will include a martial arts demo from K3 Filipino Martial Arts, Filipino comedian Joey Guila, a host of live bands, and DJ’s such as the Kracker Nuttz, DJ Ebonix, and DJ Johnny J. There will be raffle giveaways and of course, more food than you can imagine at this event!

Come join us. The event is from 1pm -5pm on Sunday. Come early for easy parking.

Below is part of the write up from the event page:

adobohoedown
The BAHAla na Tribe is hosting an all-ages, community event/fundraiser to benefit Ondoy flood victims in the Philippines.
In the Filipino language Tagalog, the word “baha” means flood, “la na” is Tagalog slang for “no more”. The word “bahalana” means “leave it up to God”.
If you are unable to attend the event and would like to make a donation, you can donate online: http://adobohoedown.chipin.com

When we heard about the recent Philippine floods leaving over 300,000+ people homeless we wanted do something locally to help. We’ve joined forces and have created this exciting and fun event to raise money and clothing to send to the American Red Cross for Philippines Typhoon Ketsana Relief Effort. We hope you can join us on this special day to enjoy the Filipino culture and help those less fortunate. We introduce the…

H-Town Adobo Hoedown
Sunday, October 18, 2009
1:00pm – 5:00pm
DiverseWorks
1117 East Freeway
Houston, TX 77002


Be a part of a fun, cultural celebration in honor of Filipino American History Month while helping others in need. The H-Town Sneaker Summit will also be at the event accepting clothing and shoe donations.  View the press release: http://bit.ly/adoboPR


When we heard about the recent Philippine floods leaving over 300,000+ people homeless we wanted do something locally to help. We’ve joined forces and have created this exciting and fun event to raise money and clothing to send to the American Red Cross for Philippines Typhoon Ketsana Relief Effort. We hope you can join us on this special day to enjoy the Filipino culture and help those less fortunate. We introduce the…

H-Town Adobo Hoedown
Sunday, October 18, 2009
1:00pm – 5:00pm
DiverseWorks
1117 East Freeway
Houston, TX 77002


Be a part of a fun, cultural celebration in honor of Filipino American History Month while helping others in need. The H-Town Sneaker Summit will also be at the event accepting clothing and shoe donations.  View the press release: http://bit.ly/adoboPR

Entry:$10 adults / $5 for children 12 and under (Cash Only)

Ecovillage InanItah – Work/Stay/Trade Opportunities in Nicaragua

September 4, 2009

Dear Do-Gooders and World Travelers,

I wanted to re-introduce you to Duane Batcheler, a good friend and new addition to the DNC Worldwide community. A successful finance professional in his past life, Duane has traveled the world for the past five years for leisure and has also been a part of several projects focusing on cultural awareness, conservation, and learning. Now before we announce his current project, here is a little more about Duane, from Duane:

duaneIn September of 2004 I decided to sell everything I own and travel the world starting with Central and South America until April of 2006 when I broke my collar bone in Argentina. After a brief recovery at home I went to Europe for World Cup and to run with the bulls in Spain. After that I flew to Singapore and traveled through SE Asia and then up through China and into Tibet, Nepal and India. Then I flew to Hungary and worked my way to Turkey and through the Middle East and Africa starting with Egypt. From there I rode buses, trains, trucks, boats, and every other type of transport to get to Cape Town, South Africa. Then I flew up to Morocco and eventually took a boat to Gibraltar.

(Updated August 7, 2009) I’m done traveling for a bit and now working with a group called ‘Bona Fide’ on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua to learn permaculture over the next 6 months or so before building a community. I’m also working with a few groups on putting together a documentary on permaculture.

routemap123108small

Opportunities to learn and expand our horizons never cease to amaze me.

Here’s Duane on his next project, which I would advise to anyone who is able to participate.

After spending the last few months on Ometepe helping with Bona Fide, I met Paul and Gaia who are setting up an intenti0nal community. It’s about 23 acres with road access and great views of the volcano.

The main focus on the community is sustainable living and learning. In order to create a sustainable way of life, it is important to recognize the multi-dimensional aspects of sustainable living: relationships, ecology, economics, and consciousness. We are currently building a community center of stone, local harvested timer, and thatch roof, applying various theories of organic and sustainable food production, practice hatha yoga, conscious communication and we create space for community support of self-reflective awareness.

We are looking for co-creators in the practice of creating sustainable living and learning environment, including builders, gardeners, coordinators, artists & musicians, and people with time and a desire to share and to learn. They can offer a trade of a simple room and board for services to be determined on an individual basis and are currently developing agreements for long-term involvement.

Here is a slideshow of Ecovillage InanItah.

Please contact Gaia at paulandgaia@gmail.com for more information.

Duane Batcheler

Travel Blogs:

Personal Blogs:

Help Us Fight Pediatric Cancer through Extra Life

July 21, 2009

tchpic1Salutations, I hope everyone is doing well,

As anyone who has been talking to me the last few weeks knows, I have been promoting Extra Life, a 24-hour gaming marathon to help raise money in support of The Texas Children’s Hospital to fight against pediatric cancer.   

We are currently looking for a location for the event and need your help in finding a venue for October 17.  If anyone has any connections or any knowledge on possible avenues to take to find a location, please contact us.  We are looking to hold a lock-in type event with the main activity being video games. This charity event is a one-night only event and we are willing to hold it in locations both large to small.  Any information on possible locations would be appreciated.

Also a note to all Houston area people, we will be holding a few information nights and fundraisers along the way before the Oct 17th event. We have one tentatively set for Aug 22nd at the CoffeeGroundz in Midtown Houston at 6pm. 

CoffeeGroundz is located 2503 Bagby Houston, TX 77006. Check out their site for more information. We would love if you joined us on that night to show your support.

To everyone else who are not in the Houston area, there are many ways to help out. You can sign up to participate and take part in your own gaming marathon. You will be participating with gamers all over the globe. We are always looking for more people to join us to take part in this noble cause.  When you do sign up, you will be given a fundraiser page to collect donations.

We are using social networking as a big tool to gain exposure and we will be using Twitter and Facebook to our advantage. Sponsorships are also greatly appreciated if you cannot participate directly. You may donate here.

Lets do our best, think big, and make an impact for The Texas Children’s Hospital.  If you have feedback or questions, contact me personally.  Also, please visit the site to find further information about opportunities with support and participation and also any other questions you may have concerning the event.

extralife

I hope this finds you well,

Allen Ragasa
Twitter – @takeorey
Phone: 281-686-4442