Why he did it

News & Observer:

A UNC-Chapel Hill graduate told investigators he intentionally drove into a crowd of students on campus Friday to “avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world,” UNC Police Chief Derek Poarch said Saturday.

Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, 22, told detectives to go to the Carrboro apartment he shared with two other men, saying authorities would find evidence there that would explain his decision to hurt students. Poarch declined to say what, if anything, was found, but emphasized that Taheri-azar appears to have acted alone.

I knew I heard an explosion (New & Observer):

Authorities used some sort of explosive to get into Taheri-azar’s apartment in the University Commons complex in Carrboro on Friday. Charred fragments of molding and siding surrounded the doorway Saturday, while debris, including a white plastic kitchen trash can, latex gloves, hinges, glass and pieces of a doorknob littered the landing. The door itself, blackened and warped, leaned backward into the foyer, leaving the inside of the four-bedroom apartment open to view. Neither of Taheri-azar’s two roommates appeared to be home.

And thank goodness the news helicopters are gone.

The Pope gets an iPod

Pope Benedict XVI got an iPod on Friday, thanks to a group of workers at Vatican Radio.

According to a Catholic News Service story, the pontiff got a 2GB white Nano, loaded with, among other things, the radio station’s programming in English, Italian and German, as well as classical tunes from Mozart, Chopin and Stravinsky.

The Nano was given to the Pope following a visit to Vatican Radio, CNS reported.

Helicopters over my house

The big news around here today was this:

Authorities say 23-year-old Mohammed Reza Taheriazar drove a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee into The Pit at the UNC-Chapel Hill campus around noon Friday, injuring five students and a visiting scholar.

All afternoon one or two news helicopter have been hovering over my house. At one point there was a link on the WRAL-TV website of live footage from the helicopter, but there was no audio and no explanation of the situation.

Here’s what we eventually found out. It turns out after they arrested the guy, something he told them caused all manner of law enforcement to converge on his apartment:

Around two hours after the crash, state and local investigators surrounded Building D at University Commons Apartments at 303 Smith Level Road in Carrboro, where Taheriazar is believed to have lived. Bomb squad officers entered the building around 5:15 p.m., but there is no word if anything has been found inside.

A few minutes ago I heard what sounded like a muffled explosion. I have not found any confirmation that the bomb squad detonated anything. I keep checking, but the local news media are a bunch yahoos. They all got seriously scooped by the Daily Tar Heel, which had more information about the situation, Taheriazar and the connection between the incident at The Pit and “Police Situation in Carrboro” on their web site long before local news media had it put together.

I-Tunes must be hooked into the karma of the situation because Unmarked Helicopters by Soul Coughing just came up on random. It’s from the X Files, so it’s kind of creepy anyway.

I feel like Henry Hill in Good Fellas as he goes through his paranoid breakdown near the end of the movie, and every time he goes outside he things helicopters are following him.

Never in my day

From today’s News & Observer:

by Anne Blythe, Staff Writer
A Duke University economics major was testing the law of supply and demand when he thought about accepting $3,000 for a courtside ticket to Saturday night’s Duke-Carolina men’s basketball game.

But instead, Tristan Patterson, a freshman from Raleigh, got a lesson in the value of tradition.

Fellow students evicted him from Krzyzewskiville, the tent village that sprouts every year outside Cameron Indoor Stadium as students wait for tickets to The Game.

Asking for money

There is something strange about appearing before the Chapel Hill Town Council and asking for $185,000 when I don’t have a job. Yes, as a voluteer and Chair of the Public Arts Commission (an organization supported by the Council), it is my job to give a budget presentation with our request for 2006-07. So, a guy with no job gives his free time to ask for a chunk of money for a non-profit. Gotta love this country.

The Daily Tar Heel had this to say about it:

The commission asked for what board chairman Jeff Cohen deemed “a modest increase” in its budget, which would increase this year’s bottom line from $150,000 to $185,000 next year.

The funds would help continue the commission’s work, which includes managing the town’s percent for art fund, expected to top $1.5 million, and a public sculpture project that has placed artworks at various public locations.

My first client meeting

Today I had my first meeting as a marketing consultant. I met with the marketing director at the Museum of Life and Science. Since this was my first meeting as a consultant, and my first meeting as a consultant, it was a great learning experience.

The meeting went very well. If you call yourself a professional and you interact in an intelligent manner, people take you seriously. This is an important thing to understand as you present yourself as an expert.

I learned that in targeting small businesses/non-profits, especially science museums, they have no musuem. The museum in Durham is a decent size museum and has a small marketing budget and no web budget.

In offering several suggestions for places I could help with, the marketing director responded that their was no money available.

I offered to explore an on-line membership form where members can renew on the web site. My point was that if I can generate additional revenue, then there is some money to pay me. I suggested that I could develop and pay for the infrastructure and charge them a cut of each membership. I would probably need to charge a monthly fee until I have a better sense of the number of memberships.

She certainly was amendable to this idea because there is no risk. Now I’ll have to see what I can do. I told my friend Debbie (my goal-setting buddy) that I would have something to the museum by the end of March.