Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Anyhow, I figured for my last blog entry I would write about another blog I've started reading this semester. It's Wisconsinology, also hosted on bloggerdotcom.
Each day the writer updates with some sort of factoid about Wisconsin natives or events that occurred here. Some are pretty fascinating -- the man who invented the first self contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) hails from Milwaukee and tested it in chilly Lake Michigan during the winter of 1937. Some are mildly interesting -- frozen yogurt was first created in Babcock Hall at UW-Madison in the 1920's. Some are admittedly boring, a quote from yesterday's update reads, "Wisconsin is the number one cranberry producing state in America. Yawn.
Dr. Mike gave me this one. I know...he's an idiot."
It's a relatively new blog, began in October this year, but so far the updates are generally interesting and concise. The writing style is almost conversational, which makes it more fun to read. Worth checking out.
Happy end-of-the-semester, everybody. :]
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
"W00t," which is a way of expressing excitement or happiness, was first used by online gamers, but eventually caught on with non-gamers, too.
I found it a little weird that a word that isn't even a real word was chosen as "word of the year"... especially because it's made of letters AND numbers... But I suppose it makes sense that this "word" would win the title of word of the year, because it reflects how language has started to evolve thanks to new technologies, especially the internet.
The article wasn't clear as to whether or not "w00t" is actually being added to the dictionary, so I did a search for it on dictionary.com. It appears as though it's not in the dictionary (yet?), but there was a link provided to acronym.com, where regular people can post definitions for it.
But I kind of hope "w00t" doesn't go any further than the internet... to me it would be worse than when people say "brb" or "jk" in real-life conversation.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
(Note: Le pub avec Jean-Claude Van Damme est en francais!!)
Monday, December 10, 2007
I started going on YouTube looking for music to pass the time while I work. I discovered that the collection of music on there is vast. You can just keep clicking related videos and keep getting more and more from the same artists. It's a crapshoot when you click on a related video and you get a cover. Most covers are pretty bad and I find myself going back to the version done by the original artist just to remind myself that it's not a bad song.
Anyways, to make this post more interesting, here's a big white guy singing Hey Ya!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
In my family, this is almost a religious practice. My Dad goes on the Internet and plans out when all the "good" movies will be on and what station. UsuallyABC delivers the greats.
Our choices include these classics:
- 1946 It's a Wonderful Life
- (TV) 1964 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- 1966 Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- 1969 Frosty the Snowman
- 1970 Santa Claus is Coming to Town
- 1974 The Year Without a Santa Claus
It's funny though... We do not own these on VHS or DVD. Sometimes I wouldn't mind watching them in the summer, but then I feel they would lose their Christmas luster.
With the popularity of DVD's growing more and more rapidly, it is not ridiculous to understand that these TV classics would soon dive into the majority mass media circuit, but I find it very refreshing to know that they still are played on television, obviously around the same time of year. Then again, I can only imagine what type of ratings these shows produce for their networks!
My roomate loves to shop at Costco, which you need to be a member in order to shop there, and she rants and raves about it. I guess one has recently been built up in Grafton right off of 43, until my roomate had said something, I had no idea what this store was all about.
So I decided I would check out the website and look around. This is actually just a wholesale store like Wal-Mart or SAM's club...which I'm not a big fan of...but i'm poor and Wal-Mart's cheap. So when wandering around the site I noticed that on top where all the links are located, right next to the furniture link I saw funeral! Costco, besides gallon sized shampoo and cereal by the bulk, also sells caskets, urns, and keepsakes. Umm really?? I think that is very disturbing....I mean I think they sell enough products the way it is......do they really need to compete against funeral homes to sell caskets and such too?
How ridiculous!! I mean seriously!!!!!!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
One of my favorite times to play my favorite music is while I'm working on homework. Like right now (Wanted- Holly Brook). Sometime last year, my little sister turned me on to Project Playlist, (projectplaylist.com), a sight where you can search for music, sample it, and then add it to a 75 track playlist and access it from any computer. Currently, I have about seven different playlists that I update according to my moods. I also checked out Last FM and tune in occasionally to friends' stations there.
However... recently I was at a friend's house and he showed me the next best thing, called Pandora. Users of Pandora sign up for a free account with an email address and password. Then you create your own "channels" by typing in a favorite artist or band name. The site then plays music that they've matched to your choice based on vocals, major/minor keys, and other identifiable musical techniques. I'm addicted. Currently my channel is stuck on "A Fine Frenzy," although I did go through a Counting Crows phase a few days ago. But in this homework-laden time (how are all your papers going?), if you're looking for a new way to create a little ambience, I definitely recommend checking out www.pandora.com!
Perhaps during the age of adolescents myself and my friends, all of whom either write their own, contribute to, or consume zines, we all endured some traumatic, defining event that secured our identity within the underground culture. My natural attraction and fixation with rock n' roll music and shows characterized a rocky, "rebellious" coming-of-age in my parents house, and writing no doubt played an important part of that identity.
But here I am as an adult, past those turbulent adolescent years, and still define myself within this underground culture. I have opinions, beliefs, compassions, and sympathies, but they are the passion of my life just like dance or gymnastics might be to a mainstreamer. Music, writing, playing shows, recording music...these activities bind a group of people just like a person's sports team might comprise his/her friendship circle. But an important element of our passions is to create. Art, music, writing...it is the sharing of these creations that make the community, and we are happy within that community. We're not all activists, anarchists, hippies, extremists straight out of the Cream City Collectives zine collection. We are oblivious and apathetic, though sometimes mocking, of the mainstream culture and have simply chosen an alternative lifestyle.
Zine writers are not all rebels coming from white, suburban backgrounds. My boyfriend wrote a zine for years simply because he liked to create and communicate his thoughts in "magazine form," not because of rebellion against his suburban life. That didn't exist. He grew up in a dysfunctional family plagued by drugs and poverty.
Zine writers also don't have to be solely individual works. A good friend of mine compiles a zine made up of contributions from all our friends. There's stories, comics, editorials, word games, anything anyone felt like contributing. Some of it may be political, non-political, fun, or just plain dumb. But it's an effort that was made possible by the communual spirit of my friends, just as relevant and personal as an individual writer.
Zines are not all politically or activist driven. Check out one of the most influential zines of all time, Cometbus. There's no website (duh), but look him up on Wikipedia and order the complete anthology for $10 on Amazon.com. Aaron Cometbus's main focus of writing was personal journeys and the cherished qualities and explorations of human relationships. He writes about traveling, his band, music, love, and yes, even has contributors or entire issues dedicated to contributor's point of views.
Maybe some are rebelling. Maybe some do define themselves by constant critique of mainstream culture. But what is mainstream culture anyway? Maybe just all of our lives were changed by the Ramones. And so we create.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I originally sent Prof. Newman a link to this video and now realized perhaps the rest of you would find this interesting, fascinating or stupid depending upon many factors.
I was thinking about remix culture in general and the artist Mike Relm specifically when I stumbled across this mash-up on YouTube. It is a trailer for a Pirates of the Caribbean movie mashed with Harry Potter visuals. I thought it was rather well done and noticed that it has nearly 75,000 views. Which seems like alot considering Mike Relm --who plays sets all over the world and has a decent international fanbase only had 30 some thousand hits when searched on YouTube.
The photos above are of Mike Relm. Here is the link to the video.
I hope that you all continue to pay attention to new and innovative uses of media. I truly believe that we are going to see more and more mixing and splicing of materials as content and improved technologies become more and more accessible. Hopefully these artists can feel emboldened and encouraged to experiment and attempt new styles. I would hate to think that fear of bureaucratic red tape, fines or even imprisonment would hold them back. New laws and new conventions will necessarily be drafted.
Monday, December 03, 2007
As great of show as it was it left with a huge cliff hanger. Which usually would be fine except for the fact that there were no previews for the following show. As a worried viewer for Lynette's husband, i looked to try and find a preview on the internet, only to find that next week's episode is a RERUN!!!! I might have to kill someone if i cant find out what happened to her family.
I think it's rediculous that the networks can't just give the writters what they are asking for. They have so much money they probably dont even know what to do with it all. Granted many people watch such shows as this, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, and Brothers and Sisters partially for the beautiful actors. But these shows would not be the hit that they are without the writters talents.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
When you have a nation that can't wait to see the next bad or even great picture of a celebrity accompanied by a story that may or may not be true, how can we give celebrities any peace? I'm surprised that more celebrities aren't "losing it" like Britney. Are we all so bored with our own lives that we have to live through theirs? Or is it because through advertising we have come to be obsessed with the lifestyle they lead and hope to one day have the same?
Saturday, December 01, 2007
I was cruising around the website and found a link to "live help." So I clicked on it and it led me to a page where I had to put in my name and email address. After doing so I found myself connected to a Midwest Airlines worker through instant message. Now I have used AIM in the past so that aspect of this wasn't anything new. I just found it to be a really cool feature instead of the standard email and phone.
It was set up just like AIM and had a message at the top that said Jocelyn (the lady I was speaking with) is listening/responding. I thought it was really cool that Midwest is so high tech! Then out of curiosity I asked her where she was located (cause with the call centers, sometimes they are in Ohio or Texas or something) and she was at Midwest's headquarters in snowy Milwaukee.
At times during our conversation I was just like AHHH! I don't know how to respond! It's not like I could write lol or use slang that I use with my friends. Especially with those standard responses she was giving me, like "Thank you for using Midwest Airlines...whatever...we are always here to assist you." I just said thank you and drive home safely and "hung up" figuring that that was good enough. Gotta love technology!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Hi all. For this blog entry, I wanted to show you something a little different. Since I love video games so much, there is a new service that Sony Computer Entertainment has released for owners of their PlayStation Portable (PSP) system. It is called the “PlayStation Store,” and this service allows PSP owners to download and view PSP wallpapers, themes, and videos, as well as video game demos, downloadable games, and even classic PlayStation One games. This service was created so that PC users could access PSP content without need of a PlayStation 3 system, which is great for those (like me) who can’t afford a PS3. Based on what a consumer wants to download, some items are free of charge while others can be as much as $10. This new way of taking content on the go creates a larger community of video game users who may want to share downloads with friends and family, as well as other gamers. Also, this is an effective marketing strategy because it gives gamers an opportunity to use their PSPs for something different, and once other people see this content on someone’s PSP, they’ll most likely buy one to obtain the same items, or even more. Check out the website, if you would like to.
Another thing about Facebook that I've been dealing a lot with is privacy. Not the traditional sense of who can look at my profile, but the sense that anybody can find me from any point in my life. Also, the sheer number of people that are on Facebook creates a social attack of past and present relationships, and it's impossible to keep up with them all or include them all in your life! I'm dealing with the crazy girl that I mentioned in class right now. She looked me up, found me on Facebook, requested friendship, and now will not leave me alone. It's hard to deal with so many social assailants in a place of "hanging out." I think this is a phenomenon that every kid of my generation will have to deal with at some point because of the mass communication bombardment that exists in our global culture.
I told her to friend me and to write on my wall because I thought it would be funny. My mom always worked with computers in her career, has taken some web design classes, etc. So she's rather computer savvy. But for some reason each thing on FB I had to walk her through. It turned out to be rather annoying, when I thought it would be fun to have her on there.
After reading the social graph stuff I realized my mom doesn't have anything to do on FB because none of her friends are on there, none of our family is (besides some college-age cousins who I doubt would add her -- I'm not even friends with them), so there isn't a lot of social networking to do. But I do like to play Scrabble with her, because most of my friends won't. I guess it works out.
Though it was a loss for Green and Gold, one has to admit, it was an exciting game from the beginning. That got me to thinking about the beginning... of the Packers.
I consider myself to be a fan of certain extent. I do not follow the NFL throughout the entire season, but I try not to miss any Packers' games, and I love watching football in general. So, to follow up on my questioning, I had to do a little research.
In 1919, Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun founded the Green Bay Packers. In agreement to receive funds, Lambeau named the team after the Indian Packing company.
After joining the newly created American Professional Football Association in 1921, the Packers ran into some financial trouble, but were saved by local business owners known as the "Hungry Five," who formed the Green Bay Football Corporation.
The Packers are now the only publicly owned company with a board of directors; possibly one of the reasons the team has never been moved from the city of Green Bay, though they first began hosting their home games (one pre-season and three regular season) games in Milwaukee.
Under direction from Lambeau, The Packers' first season was a victorious event with them winning 10 out of 11 games against other Wisconsin and Upper Michigan teams.
Heading into History as one of the Greatest Football Teams of all time, the Packers began with spirit that is still felt today. Continuing from their first season, the Packers' produced sport icons such Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, and Ray Nitschke, who will always be remembered as Green Bay Greats.
Much is to be said, heard, and told about the Packers. It is clear that without them, football would not be the same.
Information collected here was found from Packers.com, LambeauField.com, wikipedia.com and Uncle John's Bathroom Readers.
Also, the last 3 or so football games I've watched have been in HD. The first few where while I was at my parent's place over Thanksgiving. Tonight's game was viewed on my friends brand new HDTV. I am very impressed. The picture quality is amazing. I noticed while watching sunday night football last week, you could actually see the blades of grass on the field. This is just another example of the improving technology that helps us view our media. I just wish the crisp picture would've helped me better enjoy a Packer victory.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
These examples really brought it home to me that now, more than ever- since I don't have cable and am not that impressed by all network TV, especially in light of the strike, but I do have high speed cable internet- much of the media I consume is created by so called amateurs. Most of the CDs I listen to are mixxes that were made by me or for me. I trade funny videos or inspiring videos with friends online. It was a slow shift, but after discussing these ideas so much in class, it's been eye-opening to me to realize that the media I enjoy consuming is mostly user created.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
As I am sure most of you know, the writers guild is on strike and it has majorly impacted the late night talk shows in particular like Leno, Conan, Letterman, etc. for they are all in re-runs and have been since only a few days following the start of the strike. Well, on this morning's newscast, it was reported that NBC would be showing some "vintage" Leno shows from the early 90's (when he took over for Johnny Carson) instead of more recent re-runs from this past year.
In response, the TMJ4 anchor seemed so agitated about the fact that it took NBC 3 weeks to figure something creative like this out. It was really hilarious to watch this guy go on a minute rant about it. "3 weeks it took them," he practically yelled. I agree with him that it took NBC a really long time to think of this creative, old school alternative, but the anchor's little spiel about it was just too funny not to bring up.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I would compare American Gangster to, say, Godfather Part Two. The film recognizes in itself, its big names and credentials. It knows it has a lot to live up to. The film does lend itself naturally to its actors and script. It isn't on par with the Godfather I. I won't and don't remember specific lines from the movie, and only a few scenes stick out in my mind. This film was very well executed, but it pales in comparison to classics like The Godfather Trilogy or Scarface. It did keep my rapt attention, however, for almost three hours, which is a feat.
My guess would be that rappers may continue to emulate the Scarface motif, but American Gangster will give it short-lived competition.
Pop some popcorn and grab a soda, you'll enjoy American Gangster.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
The basic premise of the movie is what if all the young urban professionals stopped procreating while the stupid masses of the earth multiplied at an alarming rate. Then fast forward to 2505. However, an army experiment from 2005 left 2 people freeze dried and forgotten until a garbage avalanche breaks open their capsules to find the world in deep crisis resulting from the world's plummeting IQ. Fuddruckers becomes "Buttfuckers," everyone's favorite show is "Ow! My Balls," the favorite movie is "Ass," and advertising is EVERYWHERE. An energy drink with electrolytes has replaced all uses of water except for toilet water. This situation is profound as the energy drink corporation, Brawndo, has virtually taken over the world. Because of its prevelance in life functions (as water today is, except somebody's now making a profit off of it!!!), half of the population is employed by Brawndo and the world "ecomony" relies on Brawndo's monopoly. They even bought out the FDA and FCC during the budget crisis of 2330, making their influence unstoppable. Along with Carl's Jr., Starbucks, and Costco, these corporations dictate the way of life for the future state of mankind. When the hero of the story realized that the reason crops wouldn't grow was because they were being watered with Brando, the water replacement cost the population half of their jobs!! Monopoly at its finest!
The next morning after watching this movie, I woke up and watched the Packer game, and realized how regardless of Idiocracy's exagerrated ridiculousness, we may not be that far off from such a world if we're not careful. Watching a football game is an endless string of sponsors (Coors Light NFL on Fox, sponsored by ______, ________, and the official sponsor of _______) and advertising plugs, of which I can't even remember. There was an official beer of the NFL, an official car, everything! Somehow in real life, it wasn't as funny.
Despite it's crude, potty mouth humor, Idiocracy was an incredibly relevant movie that says a lot of about the state of business, advertising, and public interest issues. You should probably watch it.
Wednesday evening I attended a Led Zeppelin Tribute band called No Quarters, the show was at BBC's on North. The opening band was a Guns n' Roses tribute band....which I wasn't too into, I'm not really a guns n' roses fan.
Of the four members I was familiar with two of the guys from previous bands, Boxkar (they are no longer together), the Cocksmiths, and Willy Porter-who sometimes plays with a band. Dave Schoepke (Drummer) and Joey Carini (Guitarist) played in Boxkar and currently play in The Cocksmiths together. Both are phenomenal at what they do, that's why I knew this tribute band was going to be good. The vocals were awesome!!! No Quarters (also a song by Led Zeppelin) only meets once a year to play and it is around this time every year!! I never made it to the show last year, but I was definately impressed!!!!!! Communication Breakdown was one of my favorites!!! :) Although I wish they would have played Gallows Pole.....
Actually Led Zeppelin is getting together to play one last show. This reunion is taking place in London on December 10. Actually when tickets went onsale the site crashed within minutes because fans were trying to get one out of 18,000 tickets. Fans were limited to two tickets. I wish I could go to the show but unfortunately it is sold out and there really would be no way for me to afford that.......so No Quarters will do!!!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
it seems that EVERYONE loves brett favre. packer fan or not, people have respect for that man. i am amongst his loyal followers and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of respect he commands from even other NFL team fans. i was with other friends/family for the holiday and as much as some of them hate the packers, they like brett favre.
during the pre-game there were segments about various aspects of his career. i found it very interesting when a segment aired in which former "champions" gave their tribute to favre. the champions included wayne gretzky and lance armstrong. i was also shocked by MVP and super-bowl speculation. It seems to me that "Favre fever" is starting to sweep the nation. various front-pages of news websites had headings like "Favre on fire," and "favre turns lions into lambs."
being down south for the holidays i've had a heightened sense of awareness of favre respect. it is common in wisconsin. but i've found that even in other parts of the country many people love favre.
regardless of how they do the rest of the season, i'm very happy with the 10-1 record so far.
and for old times sake. another reason why favre is awesome.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Of course, after the quick hit of celebrity news, there was an advertisement. The one that I saw today was for Gilmore Girls DVD seasons. A new venue for Cosmo? We'll see...
So, I've gone back to the good ol' PC and I was hooked for the entire weekend! Trying to complete the old games I had saved from years ago was just so much fun! Like I said, I am not much into gaming, but this game just rocks! The strategy involved in getting people to the park and trying to maintain a certain profit, rating or whatever had me hooked. Didn't much care for the guests throwing up all over the place, but hey, I guess that's the price I pay for having kick ass rollercoasters in my park. And I think I have just discovered my new procrastination tool...oh bother!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I came across a story about John Edwards sympathizing with the writers on strike in Hollywood. Then I found a video of his speech on YouTube. He seems sincere but come critics have maintained that Edwards is simply making an appearance and looking for ways to gain votes. I'm sure it is a bit of both.
However, I like the man. He is democratic to begin with and even though he literally reeks of money his general tone and basic principles seem to favor anti-hegemonic power to the people rhetoric.
The writers strike is more than just easy headlines. Many studios are clamoring to shoot as many episodes as possible before work becomes impossible. Already networks are putting up more re-runs and looking to the future. They're firing other production staff in an attempt to get the writers back. These people aren't the millionaires, they're making car payments and putting kids through school...
What could happen? Well it depends. More than likely both sides will eventually come to a compromise and work will continue. However, if it's anything like the 1988 writers walk-out there may be some very noticeable effects. Primetime may become inundated by reruns and reality, (since reality shows hardly rely on guild writers). Also newsmagazine shows like 48 hours or 60 minutes might make a dazzling comeback. When scripted shows dissapeared in '88 these shows found a strong foothold.
Many see the strike as a conflict nobody wants but all are powerless to avoid.
Oh, and notice how these trailers are structured. Do things happen to make sense when you see them? When I saw trailers of Superbad, I didn't expect the majority of the movie would use swearing to the level that it did. I was totally caught off-guard.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Earlier this year, a video surfaced showing Dan Rather, the former CBS Evening News achor complaining about the various ways he could wear his coat before a video segment on location. This viral video was parodied and mocked all over the internet. Rather's sucessor, Katie Couric is now featured in a video mocking him. Tension between Rather and Couric is well-doucmented and this video makes that even funnier.
On the surface, this video is pretty entertaing. Couric's behavior shows her in a new light as a pretty funny person. One thing disturbed me though.
COURIC KEPT CALLING PEOPLE "DUDE" and "BRO!" ....SERIOUSLY
Katie Couric could be my mom. I found this behavior very depressing. I brought up in class the fact that I find it weird when my own father says "dude," and when my mom text messages me.
Personally, this video took my amusement with older people trying to sound young to a whole new level. Overall, I think Couric's choice of slang was more entertaining than her mocery of Dan Rather.
Maybe it's just me, but one could argue that Couric's word choice could be a subconscious attempt to stay relevant as she gets older.
I hope this is as amusing to you, as it was to me.
COURIC MOCKING DAN RATHER
However, the Stevens Point Journal along with numerous other Wisconsin newspapers, are now owned by Gannett Newspapers. This ownership blatantly endangers the purpose of "local" journals the the Point paper, and makes me wonder about the future of such community newspapers. I think media consolidation is a huge concern in consideration to localism. A good development has been the founding of the Portage County Gazette, a free, weekly county publication that provides some competition to the Point Journal. At least there's still room for a truly local paper to fill the localism void in the face of ownership concentration. I wonder how long that will exist.
Attending this lecture was beyond anything I could have imagined. His story is gruesome, horrific, and one of the saddest events I've ever heard.
Since the release of the 2006 movie "God Grew Tired of Us: The Lost Boys of Sudan," Dau has been traveling throughout the United States, spreading his story through his book (same title as the movie) and his own words.
At the age of 13, Dau was awaken in the middle of the night to the sound of gun shots and bullets whistling through the air. When he ran outside, his neighbor pulled him to the ground and he watched quietly as northern Sudanese militias raided his village. Unable to go back home, Dau marched to Ethiopia, a journey more than 1,000 miles long.
Along the way he ate only roots and wild plants, drank his own urine and traveled naked with thousands of other boys and men. Several times refugee camps were found along the way, but eventually the north Sudanese drove them out.
Sicknesses like malaria, measles, chicken pox, and whooping cough plagued thousands as so many died each day. Many young boys went crazy and others were killed.
For five years, Dau traveled through the desert, starving and sick.
Finally, hope was rewarded when he reached Kenya in 1992. Here, he found food, shelter, clothing, medical help and school. At the age of 17, Dau started his education and obtained hi high school degree at 20.
Then, at 21, Dau was selected by American people to come and live in America, where he could start a new life, away from the suffering and torture.
Because of his strength and will to aid those still over in Sudan, Dau has created many foundations such as the Sudanese Lost Boy Foundation and American Care for Sudan. He has raised over $350,000 to build another clinic in southern Sudan and is in the process of another $450,000 to build another clinic and school.
To learn more about John Bul Dau and to help his cause, go to www.volvoforlifeaward.com. An article will also be in UW-Milwaukee's campus newspaper The Post this upcoming week, which goes into more detail.
However, I just bough a new iPod that can play videos (yes, I know iPods have been able to do this for some time now, but again…tech savvy I am not). I was feeling daring one afternoon and downloaded Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief. This was a huge success despite the literally small inconvenience of holding the iPod in front of my face to watch the classic film on its two inch screen. The experience did give me the confidence to download other things, such as music videos and television shows. I have since been watching television shows on the internet, and have found ABC.com to be the easiest website. So much so, I have even strayed from some of my NBC favorites. I’ve been enjoying the convenience of watching television’s content on alternative screens, as well as feeling a bit more technologically inclined for it. I will inevitably break my iPod, computer, and TV, and will have to just read I suppose.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Milwaukee has a really amazing theatre scene which I don't think a lot of people realize, so if you are looking to experience a great bit of Milwaukee theatre, I would highly recommend Doubt at the Rep. I certainly doubt you'd have a rotten time.
Moral of the story... choose your baby's daddy wisely ladies!
All of this can really be distracting from the learning portion of class, to say the least. Not to mention that I and other students rarely get feedback from the questions we ask pertaining to the organization of the class; rather, we receive emails ranting about this professor's position within her department. All of this seems like an inappropriate platform from which a faculty member is abusing her ability to connect with students... certainly not what I expected from this class, or from d2l!!
C'mon Grey's get with it!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I watched a newscast about the recent wildfires in California documents the hardships of one family in So Cal.
This poor woman had to have her clothes ALL dry cleaned!
Plus, there’s an overwhelming smoke smell in all the rooms, the swimming pool is filthy, filled with debris, and even the light bulbs are dirty. Naturally, this family spends $20-$30k to have “a small army” (of mostly Hispanic men, from what the newscast showed) clean their spacious home from top to bottom. The carpets were cleaned thoroughly but just couldn’t be salvaged. Damn.
It’s the first step toward moving on. "This is the best we can do, but we're trying," Mom says.
Their fire insurance policy covers some of the clean-up costs.
I wonder how much money they donated to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, and even to others in Southern California whose homes were entirely decimated. What was the best they could do to help others in a similar situation?
On an aside, I'd like to see what Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien can come up with on their own. It might be more spontaneous and a bit less predictable.
Friday, November 09, 2007
It is a basic version of photoshop online. I find this to be pretty neat, because photoshop is a wonderful program and offers a lot more options that what typically comes installed on a computer....such as paint. I guess its integrated with facebook or something, which is pretty cool considering it will let people play around with their giant picture albums there. I think theres an interesting trend of having more and more programs working online. This is pretty interesting because a lot of people i know would really like programs like photoshop but they certainly don't have the money to purchase expensive software like that. Frequently they get it in other less than legal ways. Will more programs such as this on the web lead to less downloads of software? I'm not sure about that, but I do think more and more people who don't use stuff like this will start to and it will lead to a lot more users warping pictures on photoshop. Should be fun.
One weekend when I was 17, I was at a youth group retreat. My friend left The Dwarves "Blood, Guts, and Pussy" cd in my car, which I had never listened to. It was merely shown to me, then left in my car. My mother found this cd over the weekend and had a metaphorical heart attach. She decided to raid my music selection and confiscate all material she deemed inappropriate, went through all the lyrics she could find, researched them on the internet and prepared documents of how this music is making me a bad person.
I returned from my trip (a youth group retreat! the irony...) to my parents' accusations of how popular culture was destroying my character and integrity. It was those loud rock shows that I went to with my friends every weekend. It was my best friend who was getting me into this "vulgar" music, and it was Satan working through these music recordings to draw me away from good. In ceremonious fashion, my mom shattered many of my favorite albums over her knee and told me I was never to go to a show again. And I could only listen to Christian music.
My mom was assuming that I was a passive consumer, allowing every value represented in the music to be injected into me. I had no discernment, no moral control, no interpretation of the meaning of the texts. Even if she conceded that perhaps I would intrepret these youth culture atrocities a bit different, my interpretation was wrong.
This incident changed my life in that I realized, then argued, that my parents were wrong. By the age of 17, much of morals/beliefs/viewpoints have already been shaped or are in the process of being configured by my life experiences, not my parents threats. I told my parents that they could punish me all the wanted, restrict my access to the world, and shut me into my bedroom, but at the end of the day, confronting popular culture is inevitable and they must trust my discernment and judgement (that perhaps they instilled in me long ago!) to create meaning out of the world.
I think this exchange was a big step for both of us in understanding each other's world. I understand that to them, loud shows with lyrics about "getting down tonight" may seem like toxic to family values, but they also didn't know anything about the music or the context in which it was made. Regardless, because of this exchange, my parents had received a new understanding of myself and the culture that I was growing up in. They understood that their reaction wasn't the only acceptable reaction to my youth culture.
My mom even bought me a new copy of my favorite cd that she had smashed.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
- I check my UWM email, delete any unnecessary junk and reply to those that can be done in less than 30 seconds.
- Check my Hotmail email account and proceed as before
- Check Facebook to see if anything new has been sent to my profile.
This group however peaked my interest.
It basically was informing the many Facebook participants that the Gas Price Strike could be done a better and more efficient way.
Instead of everyone not buying gas on a certain day, we should stop buying gas altogether from a certain Provider: Mobil.
The description basically points out that it is the consumer who controls the prices, not the providers. Mobil (now in cahoots with Exxon,) is the most expensive Gas Station provider throughout the entire United States and that if everyone chooses to buy from BP, Phillip's 66, or Q-Gas, etc., it would force Mobil/Exxon to lower their prices down into the $2.00-2.75 range.
When you actually think about, something like this could work if enough people go along with it-hence why this was brought to Facebook: A mass media outlet that millions of people use now.
This unfortunately is in the chain letter style and I for one am not the biggest of fan of those. I will actually be participating, just not joining the group. It does make more sense to cut off an entire company until they break than just "punishing" many for one day... By which not everyone will do.
For more information on this, go to this Facebook Site or read more about the country's proposal to our gas problem.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
What I think is disgusting about this case is that he posted a video on YouTube prior to the incident. I believe the video was posted today just hours before. YouTube obviously has taken the video off the network, but it can still be found online. The video is titled "Jokela High School Massacre 11/07/2007".
I am not sure if anybody caught this before the incident or were even warned about it. He was just using YouTube as a media outlet to get a worldly response...This is exactlly what he wanted. It is absolutely ridiculous. People are taking advantage of YouTube, I am sure we all could give an example, which causes issues and YouTube could get taken off the net for everyone because of idiots like this!!!!!!
The video has been posted on other sites, you can find it at www.liveleak.com for those of you who want to watch it.................
Monday, November 05, 2007
1. The decrease in newspaper circulation certainly feels depressing. Who wants to be a part of what many say is a dying medium? I think, however, its also very possible that there's a general fear of the unknown future of media. The internet has drastically changed how, when and what information is being delivered, but the internet has also changed the relationship between media consumers and media producers (instantaneous news vs. printed every morning, on-demand vs. scheduled, etc.)
2. The Journal Sentinel also noted a new measurement that looked at combined readership from its print and web editions. I think this fact might highlight an important point: Even though newspapers may be losing a piece of the ad pie to the internet, many newspaper owners also own the web sites where those dollars are being spent. Take a look at the Journal Sentinel which runs JSOnline.com (the heaviest trafficked web site in Wisconsin) and several other web sites, as well as Real Cities, a network of local newspaper sites formally owned by Knight Ridder.
To conclude, even though newspapers are losing readership, that doesn't necessarily mean media companies are losing the battle when it comes to ad revenue. Only time will tell.
UPDATE 11/06/2007: MJS has another article on its circulation/web numbers. Here's the link.
First: Most of these design decisions are not made on camera (except when it involves kids bedrooms usually).
Second: While paging though the Searsbook, the daughter was pointing out refridgerators that she liked...I believe she was 12 or so. Really? A 12 year old giving refridgerator input to her parents. That's what I did when I was that age, how about you?
The whole scene was so ridiculous cause it was a totaly plug for Sears. It really ruined part of the show for me. I mean, I understand that they have to put things like that in the show for monetary reasons and what not, but sometimes it all goes too far.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
The best show on PBS is one called A Chef's Story. It opens with an interview with a famous chef at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. The interview is about fifteen minutes longs. You learn about the chef's history and some of their thoughts on what it is to be a professional chef. In the second half of the show, the chef demonstrates one of their favorite or signature dishes. Some of the episodes I've caught showcased Bobby Flay, Anthony Bourdain, and Cat Cora. If you're a foodie, or like to eat, you should check out the show.
The movie is based on a true story, set in 1970s Harlem. The narrative is a classic good vs. evil plot with two main characters from each side. On the home page of the site we are shown these two men: one white, one black. These two sides of the story are very different but similar at the same time. The most impressive aspect of the film’s site is the possibility of a self-lead exploration via these characters. This is the feature that made me go from not knowing anything about this true story or the film, to greatly wanting to see it as soon as possible. Next to both of their names there are links in red that say “explore”. This is exactly what I did. Starting with the “bad guy” played by Denzel Washington, I discovered the plot, the conflict and since I was patient and looked at everything, eventually I learned the resolution. Although, even after knowing what happens to the main characters I still wanted to see the movie more than ever. Each “page” opens and leads with a few key lines, which become links, and thus lead to more pages of content. The viewer gets to check out the plot from both angles and even though there are plenty of clips and sneak peaks throughout nothing seems to be explicitly given away; which of course would spoil the intrigue.
The film, American Gangster, is directed by Ridley Scott and was made by Universal. To learn more, check out the incredibly designed, awesomely produced, official site.
Friday, November 02, 2007
I think this is a great example of how the music industry is continuing to adopt to the internet and changing technologies. Although illegal downloading and digital files have damaged the industry's profit and affected the overall structure of the industry even, just like other technologies in the past, the music industry is going to learn to adapt. Radio and film overcame the rise of television with redefining their marketing strategies and use in a consumer's life, and for the music industry to survive, it has to do the same.
Also similar to the other entertainment industries listed above, by placing songs on particular video games, the music industry has found a sort of niche marketing. Instead of appealing to a national audience, the artists' songs that go on different video games will best be popular among the targeted audience. Hopefully, the music industry will continue to be creative about staying alive in such a p2p culture.