Dexter Season 4 Finale Approaching!

The finale episode of Dexter is just a few days away!

I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this excited about a TV series.  Last week’s episode was a huge cliff hanger, and the internet is buzzing with speculation about how the situation with “Trinity” (or is it the-serial-killer-formerly-known-as-Trinity?) will resolve. If you’re anything like me, you’re looking for whatever small tidbit you can find to get you through the last remaining days until what is sure to be an absolutely explosive season finale.

I decided to throw all the resources I’ve found together in one place, and include a bullet list for everyone detailing what we know about the season finale so far.  If anyone out there has anything to add to this list, please post it in the comments section and it will be quickly updated.

Spoilers follow. Here’s what we know so far:

  • The season finale (season 4, episode 12) is titled “The Getaway”
  • Deb discovers who Dexter’s mother really is and that Dexter is related to the “Ice Truck Killer”
  • Dexter and Trinity agree to a truce of sorts (at least in appearance)
  • The police become aware of Trinity’s true identity
  • Trinity has an urgent need for money and demands whatever he can get from his family
  • The SWAT team raids Trinity’s home
  • Dexter and Trinity face off on a least two separate occasions, struggling with one another
  • A “series changing” surprise is in store for fans in this episode

As longtime fans of the series know, there’s a history of leaks when it comes to the season premier and the season finale of Dexter.  Apparently the network has took many precautions to ensure that this does not occur for “The Getaway”, but there’s always the possibility that the episode will be released unofficially ahead of schedule. I’ll be surprised, actually if it is not leaked before the weekend.

Watch the official promo here:

If you haven’t yet caught up on Season 4, now is the time to do it.  You’re not going to want to miss this episode or be left out of the loop.

If you haven’t seen Dexter yet, or are looking for a great Christmas gift for a friend or family member, you can get all available seasons on DVD at Amazon.com for $56 right now, or individually for around $20 each. Pretty great deal.

Additional Resources:

Dexter on SpoilerTV (includes 3 new segments from the actual episode)

Dexter Official Website

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Thousands Protest Government Today In Washington, D.C.

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Some reports are putting numbers of protesters on the streets of D.C. at over a million. Even mainstream media is now reporting the event, after what could be a “delay of conscience”, or a deliberate blackout. The Washington Post gives an estimate of “tens of thousands”, and says the focus of the protest was “the over-expansion of the federal government under Obama.”

Details are still hard to come by at this point, but as the media has finally started to acknowledge the protest, we can conclude it must be winding down as Saturday evening approaches.  Taxpayers seem to still be frazzled over the “banker bailout” with it’s trillions of dollars in cost, and no obligation by the institutions who received it.

From promotions of mandatory military service, to allegations of hypnotism during the election, Obama is proving to be one of the most controversial presidents in U.S. history, but was this protest really about Obama?

Though some protesters may have had a decidedly anti-Obama motivation, the majority seem to be frustrated taxpayers, who point out that the tax rate before the American Revolution was significantly lower than it is today.  Whether this is an indication of a growing discontent that could herald the advent of a Second American Revolution, is a matter for debate. What seems certain is that the perception is growing that the government, rather than serving the people, is working to their determent for it’s own interests.

FreedomWorks, a grassroots organization whose slogan is “Lower taxes, Less Government, More Freedom”, has more information regarding the protest and related events on it’s web site.

It’s important, however, in tense times like these, that people remember that the government is not the enemy.  As L Ron Hubbard said in The Way To Happiness, “It is, after all, the people and their own opinion leaders who sweat and fight and bleed for their country — a government cannot bleed, it cannot even smile: it is just an idea men have. It is the individual person who is alive — you.”

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Trial By Fire

David Grann of the New Yorker, has written a disturbing and vindicating article about Todd Willingham, a man who saw his reputation and his life literally destroyed by the state.

It’s a lengthy piece, but definitely worth pursuing.  For those of you who are interested in seeing yet another example of why this shameful system needs to be reformed, or are simply in the mood to read a compelling true story, look no further.

Here is a brief excerpt:

LaFayette Collins, who was a member of the board at the time, told me of the process, “You don’t vote guilt or innocence. You don’t retry the trial. You just make sure everything is in order and there are no glaring errors.” He noted that although the rules allowed for a hearing to consider important new evidence, “in my time there had never been one called.” When I asked him why Hurst’s report didn’t constitute evidence of “glaring errors,” he said, “We get all kinds of reports, but we don’t have the mechanisms to vet them.” Alvin Shaw, another board member at the time, said that the case didn’t “ring a bell,” adding, angrily, “Why would I want to talk about it?” Hurst calls the board’s actions “unconscionable.”

read more
For information on similar cases, and how you can help, see The Innocence Project.

For information on how best to reform the current unjustice system, and the idea of “criminality”, see Criminon.

Also check out camerontoddwillingham.com to learn more of Todd Willingham’s life and death, and how you can help restore his reputation.

Semiotics

I just stumbled upon a very interesting article on semiotics, which I must confess is a term I was not familiar with.  In discovering it’s meaning, which relates to the study of symbols, in particular as forms of communication, I found it is a subject I have been interested in for several years. The article is quite excellent, and I encourage everyone to take a look.

Here is a brief quote:

“The swastika is the best example of this because it is used widely across cultures and represents a multitude of ideas; in Buddhism it represents universal harmony, in Hinduism it is related to the creator god, Brahma, in Baltic culture it is related to the fire/thunder god and the sun god, in Nazi Germany Hitler wanted it to symbolize “… the creating, acting life”, and now in western cultures post WWII it has a negative, racial, evil connotation.”

Read more: What’s All The Buzz About Semiotics from Elizabeth Head CMUN 150 blog.

Bud Gallant Tribute on Squidoo

Some crazed groupie has developed an entire, relatively coherent lens devoted to stalking me.  It’s so disturbing and frighteningly accurate, that I felt I should share it, but make no mistake, I am in no way associated with this lens, and am currently seeking legal action against my many deranged fans, and impersonators. I will not be detered by your adoration! Onward, to victory!

http://www.squidoo.com/budgallant

Why numbers are not everything on Twitter

p Riiiight....

So subtle I almost didn’t see it! :p Riiiight….

There’s a lot of focus on numbers on twitter. Of these numbers, the most important, which is actually updates, is quite often forgotten, in place of the tired following/followers stats that all the “Twitterati” and “Twitterati wannabes” obsess over. It’s easy to get caught up in the quest for Twitter dominance through numbers. The simple fact is, the number of followers does not, in any way shape or form, act as a legitimate gage of the quality of a given account. This is a truth that should be self-evident, using the service for a week, let alone a month or a year, and yet so many regular users of the service, fall prey to the misconception that followers = endorsements.

I’ll be using my own Twitter account as an example here.  I am far from an expert, but I’ve made certain observations that I’d like to share. I follow Nearly 300 people, and have about the same amount following me. It might not seen like much, but I should point out, I add an average of 1-2 followers per day, with the rest of my follows being follow-backs. I, like others, believe it is proper to follow back any real person who expresses an interest in following my tweets. Hey, I might not be into horses much myself, but if you’re following me, I’ll give you the benefit of a doubt that you enjoy my tweets, and I’ll follow back in the interest of etiquette. I make no exceptions to this. The only time I do not follow back, is where the account is an organization I am opposed to or not interested in, or an mlm business that does not even have the pretense of a personality behind it.

I’m not focused on following (in order to get follow backs), like so many people using Twitter as a platform for influencing other people, whether it be to buy their products, or buy into their political or religious beliefs. I spend the time they put into blindly following random users, into cultivating relationships with my followers.  Relationships are where the true power-structure is in Twitter, because until you build relationships, nobody really cares about your content.

You might be running autofollow services to show your Twitter prowess, and acquire a few thousand followers within a day or two, in the process. The only thing you have really accomplished is broadcasting to the rest of us, that you are a failure. You fail so hard at attracting people, that the only way you can increase your count, is by randomly following others in the hopes they follow back…  You wake up the next day and look at your stats, and a big stupid smile appears on your face, while you spam your links… It quickly turns to a frown when, much to your surprise, you have realized nearly no traffic from those tweets. Allow me to enlighten you, on what has happened.  You see, you followed people at random soley to try and increase your own followers. Real people chose not to follow you back, probably because through a combination of your tweets and your following/followers ratio, or your meager amount of updates, they can see you’re a spammer.  The only people who consistently followed back, are the same SEO-style rejects with their mlm schemes or link-spamming techniques that you yourself are so fond of.  In other words, just as you are not paying attention to their updates, they are not paying attention to yours.  You people have a sort of a closed-circuit spammer network established.  Sure, you get some impressive numbers, but you are all talking to yourselves! Suddenly not very impressive at all, because your numbers can not translate into influence. In fact, most people are not even seeing your tweets, let alone being influenced by them. You’re being followed by thousands of YOU, and are you reading tweets?

Anyone can get numbers. It doesn’t impress me. It shouldn’t impress anyone, except the most new and inept of Twitter users, as there are several free services which offer the auto-follow/unfollow spamming technique to whoever wishes to sign up and activate it. It’s an exercise in self-degradation, and the only value it has, is in appearances, but it comes at the cost of credibility, and skews your stats completely.

I might only have 300 people on my list, but that is 300 people more than your average spammer with 6000 followers, where followers mean other spammer accounts. I’ve watched some of these guys, even some of the “cult of personality” types who are self-proclaimed CEOs of one internet-based business or another. I’ve seen them post questions, and get 2 replies. I’ve posted questions, and received 10. If we do the math, I can see quite clearly that although my numbers may be smaller, the amount of followers I have engaged is certainly larger.  That’s what matters, whether you are using Twitter as a marketing platform, or simply a social networking tool.  How many people have you built relationships with? How many people have you engaged?  If you focus on these questions, the numbers will come by themselves, and when they do, you’ll know it means something.

If you think I am wrong, do your own test.  Post a simple question to your followers, one that the majority should be able to answer, while asking for their help, and see over a 24 hour period how many of them bother to respond.  You’ll know right then how many followers you truly have, no matter what your auto-follow inflated stats tell you.

Twitter is, despite the presence of “celebrity”, a great equalizer, in that, as time goes on, those who ultimately become the most successful, will be those who most engage their followers, and have a relationship based on reciprocity with them.  Unfortunately, Twitter is in it’s infancy, and we see the Twitterati types, and the @wilw’s, who lack even the pretense they care what their followers have to say, coasting to greater heights on their dubious celebrity status alone.  We also see the auto-follow goons, rising into the top positions, like @astrospace, who is perhaps one of the most legendary for using this spamming technique, to acquire over 25 thousand followers. This is all well and good for now, because their numbers are being inflated only through new users.  Once the influx of new users to Twitter plateaus, we’ll see where they truly stand.  In the end, people will value themselves enough not to follow Twitter celebrities of any type, who refuse to follow back or engage in the type of back and forth dialogue, Twitter thrives upon, and won’t buy into the followers = endorsements argument put forward by these tweet whores and spammers. Right now, Twitter is attracting new users who perceive it as an opportunity to “interact with those types of people I normally would not have access to”. As we move forward, those people will realize, through this platform, that the very people they held on a pedestal, are just people after all…  some are cool, and some are self-absorbed jerks, and if they don’t care what you have to say, why should you care about them? I’m so bitter! Why won’t you notice me, @wilw?!?!  Err…  I mean, yes, we will move on… in time.

p.s. @wilw, dm me, and I’ll replace your name with Levar’s. Just one little dm… come on, Welsey, show me the love!

For suggestions on how to grow your followers effectively, please see this aticle by @blondishnet here.

To keep an eye on the @tweepl project, which is attempting to provide evidence for the same type of sentiments expressed here, please visit this site. (Note: You might choose to not follow @tweepl at this time, to preserve the integrity of the experiment. @tweepl might find you!)

My personal web page is here, and you can, of course, join me on Twitter.