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Angry Birds, Could You Take Over Control of an Arsonist in my Community?

Seems like three things have sparked up this week: Angry Birds, another favorite song, and a disturbing situation in my neighborhood. Being the start of a New Year may mean people having bursts of enthusiasm as a fresh page comes anew every single day. Yet, in my case, those bursts immediately fall flat because, despite the fact that I travel a lot, I oftentimes opt to become a homeboy, cleaning dishes and vacuuming the house, watching over my family and my neighborhood. Thus, to fill up the time I stay at my place north of San Francisco, it becomes an interesting mix of playing an addictive game, listening to more songs on the radio (aside of course from YouTube), and watching a disturbing news story.

I’ve been playing Angry Birds since last November, and I really love it to pieces. It casts two sets of characters: the birds as protagonists, and the Bad Piggies as the antagonists. The birds are classified according to their color and capability, from red to yellow, destroying glass to granite stone. Even the game hosts an eagle, Mighty Eagle, the largest and most powerful bird, that can destroy any pig settlement when the birds cannot destroy them (basically, when the player has a hard time killing the pigs).  The aim is simple: to eliminate the pigs by destroying their fortresses and grab the eggs the birds have been taking care of from the start of the game.

The best part of game is actually what’s outside of it: I feel better when I play this game, especially when I win over the piggies, because it releases my anger that I’ve gathered from the past by practicing techniques on how to kill multiple piggies at once (thanks of course to YouTube) and earn more three-star levels in the process, making myself feel confident again that life is a good thing.  It’s so addictive that I’m earning more three stars as I progress through levels and chapters of the game, culminating with Golden Eggs, which I think is more fun to play than the regular levels since those special levels involve extra skills to figure out how to destroy settlements made by the Bad Piggies, from a pyramid full of pigs, to pigs wearing mine hats and setting up traps, to even destroying the pigs confined with walls and bombs.

Since I mentioned YouTube, why not watch a parody of the Angry Birds based on events from the Arab Uprising? Called “Three Big Pigs”, it stars the small blue bird (which, incidentally, looks like the Twitter bird logo!) and the explosive black bird trying to destroy the homes of three long-time, corrupt government leaders, namely Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and Muammar Gaddafi from Libya. Taking the similar concept of the game, instead of police shooting protesters, this involves the Angry Birds destroying the leaders’ villas and palaces, winning the hearts of millions of gamers.

Speaking of destroying houses of glass, wood, and bricks, can someone ever try to take control of those Angry Birds’ violent nature? (pun intended) As I stuck around at home, I’ve been humming a tune that I like listening to, yet I can’t remember what song it was. And when I listened to the radio, I heard the exact same song I’ve been humming along for a while. Thanks to 99.7 Now! FM, I’ve got to know the song and the artist I like listening to lately: it’s called “Take Over Control” by Afrojack featuring Eva Simons. A popular dance song (yet again, competing with European DJs), it has a fiery electronic tune to it that makes it a popular song here in the San Francisco Bay Area. And by the way, this could become a favorite party tune for a birthday or a Friday night gig too.
Also speaking of taking control here in the Bay Area, police and firefighters in my community called Novato are investigating who started nearly sixty fires (yes, you heard that right) around the city, with many of them burning very dangerously close to homes. Given the combination of a picture-perfect weather (quite rare in the wintertime since the Bay Area usually gets lots of rain this time of year), along with no storms coming in from Alaska and the northwest, the vegetation is brown and dry, a perfect combination for setting up wildfires that can cost money, property, and lives. This story parallels what happened lately in Southern California, around Los Angeles, where parked cars and some apartment buildings have been torched by an arsonist whose mother is apparently in immigration court, trying to fight her charges charged against her that would result in her deportation to Germany.

And finally, today is the fourteenth Winter Spare the Air day as well in the 2011-12 winter season, which I think is a big record indeed, in which the outside air may not be conducive for some groups of people, including children and those suffering from asthma and other lung-related problems. Weather forecasters also alert joggers and runners as well to watch out for deteriorating air quality as it could impact their exercise routine.  It seems like the days of White Christmas have been replaced by days of thick valley smog and hazy sunshine, similar to what summer seems like in the North Bay. Yet, the nights are really cold that some cars have developed frost as a result of the cold snap that has temperatures dipping to just above freezing. It seems like global warming has become the new trend nowadays, but, hopefully, we can finally shed light on how our behaviors impact the environment as a whole.

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