Take Two #132: Are you Prepared?


By Kyra-lin Hom

Stockpiling food, water and bandages used to be for the paranoid. Burying homemade caches of money and weapons used to be alien concepts associated with survivalist crazies and backyard neighborhood militiamen. Hand-crank radios and portable solar panels used to be for techno enthusiasts more than your standard outdoorsman. But times are gradually changing.

Whether our recent social obsession with zombies and apocalypses, our sensational crime reporting, the rocky global economy, or the planet-wide meteorological meltdown are to blame, survival is on everyone's mind. Even FEMA's.

More ›

Take Two #129: Horses, Rocket Ships & Cell Phone Privacy

By Kyra-lin Hom

About a month and a half ago, I wrote a column on the legalities of warrantless cell phone searches. Specifically, I mentioned the case of Riley v. California that was waiting on a Supreme Court decision at that time. To quote myself, here's a brief reminder of the case:

“...the defendant was pulled over for driving with expired license registration tags. Prior to impounding a vehicle, police are required to inventory its contents to avoid a future lawsuit. While performing this search, police found two guns and subsequently arrested Riley for illegal possession of firearms. This then allowed the police [to] search Riley's person incident to arrest whereupon they found a cell phone in his pocket. Later [while at the police station], police went through the contents of the phone (without a warrant) and discovered evidence linking Riley to a gang...shooting. Ballistic tests matched Riley's guns to the shooting and he was arrested and convicted of 'shooting at an occupied vehicle, attempted murder, and assault with a semi-automatic firearm.' Riley is appealing on 4th Amendment grounds.”

More ›

Take Two #135: Exploring NYC and DC

By Kyra-lin Hom

This week has been one heck of a whirlwind. From Chicago (where I live now) to New York City to Washington, D.C. and back again. All in just seven days. I've done much crazier – don't get me started on China, but only a few days in each of our nation's arguably most famous cities is like forcing a twin-sized fitted sheet onto a full-sized mattress. There's just no way to cover everything. To make matters worse, I oh-so conveniently injured myself just days before we were scheduled to fly out and so had limited mobility. Perfect, I know.

More ›