Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
It's a big "what-if" kinda question, but if you can get past the associated futility of such a question, the concern is one worth contemplating. How do we take such comfort in writing the way we do when we're not being considerate of the future? Much the same way that AP English students wish for these older authors to write stuff in simple sentences and with simple lingo, AP English students two to three hundred years from now - if the AP designation still exists, of course - might be yearning for the same clemency from us.
Of course, there's no way to predict how language will evolve over centuries. We consider the way present-time editorial and opinion column writers write as professional yet accessible technique, but who's to say that the inhabitants of colonial-age New England didn't find The Scarlet Letter to be an easy read? The only thing that would fix any future problem with our current writing style would be the conception of a universal ruler of simplicity: an imaginary set of guidelines that would judge a text's simplicity and true timelessness based on verb and noun use, syntax, diction, etc.
Certainly, someone has to have thought of something similar before. But should such a concern remain monopolized by the most involved of literary fanatics, or should it diffuse into the general population?
That is the question.
One show I'm really excited to seeing over any other show would have to be the Pierce The Veil/Miss May I Co-headlining Tour. The band Woe, Is Me is also on the tour with them, featuring their new clean vocalist that they have kept a secret for so long. No one knows much about him other than that his name is Hance Alligood. He is said to be an amazing vocalist, maybe even better than their former vocalist, Tyler Carter. Tyler has brought this band up so high, and left to do a project of his own, leaving the band in the hands of Hance Alligood. To the left is a picture I took of Miss May I at Warped Tour this year. Pierce the Veil and Miss May I never dissappoint, so it'll be great to see them, and see how the new Woe, Is Me is :-)
The series is about stewardesses of the PAN AM 1960s airline, their stories, and their journeys on and off the job.
A lot of the things in the series actually happened in real life all those years ago. Many old PAN AM stewardesses recall having to go through countless weigh-ins and measurements before being picked to be stewardesses on the planes
Critics had already been raving about it, their comments appearing on countless trailers and teasers from ABC.
In my opinion, it was fabulous. An honest modern American soap opera filled with everything a girl would dream of watching in a show. There is romance, espionage, and comedy. All set in a vintage 1960s setting that is too cute to be true.
And already the plot has begun to unfold.....
Watch PAN AM Sundays at 10 pm on ABC, especially if you're a girl who appreciates a good soap opera, it won't disappoint.
The recent changes to Facebook has been, as changes to Facebook usually are, almost universally reviled by Facebook's user base. People can't agree on politics, or music, or religion, but everyone can seem to agree – leave Facebook alone.
Why, then, has Facebook not experienced anything more than good-natured complaining? Other social networking options like the much-hyped Google+ have sprung up, and Facebook's own usurption of Myspace's users proves the transient nature of popularity on the Internet. Yet Facebook remains a juggernaut; with more users by the day, it remains the top social networking site on the Internet.
Facebook's initial advantage that gave it the edge over the doomed Myspace was its accessibility and streamlined setup; it was easier, more linked together, and gave more options. Yet the new changes to Facebook, in which you can see your friends' recent activity on the right side of the page, seem only to clutter the setup; and the universally hated new chat, in which Facebook tells you who's online based on who it thinks you want to talk to most, does the same. The main question remains, then, why Facebook has managed to hold its crown. People certainly aren't scared to leave one social network for another en masse.
Facebook had better watch out. Google has an astounding track record in terms of success in different types of Internet services, and anyone who's seen their takeover of web browsing and e-mail wouldn't underestimate their ability to dominate social networking as well. If people see Google+ as doing to Facebook what Facebook once did to Myspace--providing an easier and simpler alternative—Mark Zuckerberg's reign as the top dog in the social networking world may come to an end.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
My sister won tickets to the Chromeo concert tomorrow at The Fillmore at Miami Beach. I was beyond stoked when she asked me to come with her. I was so ready to dance the night away and enjoy music with people who enjoy it just as much as me. Of course, you can't really compare it to a hot cup of chocolate, or a good book, but being at a concert is a sort of adrenaline rush for me; it's like concerts give me an energy I can only find there. It's an awesome feeling, and I'm super excited to go to the concert. Maybe if you're like me, you know the concert-going-adrenaline-rush feeling i get when I go to one. If you do, you probably are already reminiscing about the last concert you went to!
While the plans themselves were never fully completed (much like a teacher that finalizes only half the curriculum and develops the rest based on how the first half of the school year goes), I was still granted the opportunity - both by the administration at my school and by my television production instructor - to carry on with the project.
So far, it's been going absolutely great. The group of students in the class is a good one, a lot of them know each other from middle school, and they're a very open and accepting group when it comes to learning the material. Having been a student of the broadcasting program for three years already, it pleases me to see a completely new set of kids being so interested in learning about what goes on behind and in front of the cameras.
It's also got me thinking. Today, when I was doing a brief lecture on the do's and dont's of a film shoot, I realized how I've internalized so many concepts of video production. I did the entire lecture with nothing but one-word headers describing each topic I wanted to talk about - the actual examples and descriptions came from me, on the spot, with barely any premeditation or accompanying handout.
My broadcasting teacher - rather, the one before the teacher currently leading the program - used to do the same thing. He would write chicken scratch on a 3 x 5 index card and that was his outline. The rest came from his own knowledge, his own experiences.
When I arrived at the topic of music in movies during today's lecture, I thought of an example off the top of my head - as I was explaining the concept, mind you - that directly applied to what I was talking about. I used it, and it worked! It made the kids better understand what I was trying to say. And that moment was perhaps the highlight of my day.
I'm not lauding myself for being such an A/V geek. In fact, this is not a self-congratulatory speech at all. What it is is an homage to the program, to the art of television and film, to my program instructor - both the former and the current - and to all that in between. To come to the sweet realization that I've come to know all these concepts like the back of my hand, to be able to instill my knowledge through the spoken word into kids that are completely new to the whole enterprise, is intrinsically rewarding.
It's reminded me why I drafted the curriculum in the first place. And since the year's only barely begun, the project's only got one direction to go. Up.
Iv'e gotten tons of homework right off the bat, from trying to memorize sixty-something words for AP Human Geography, to learning about the fats in our body for Biology. It's all fun and games in the class room, but once your stuck inside your room with piles of assignments due- now that's a problem.
I'm getting used to the drastic change from a rinky dink charter middle school to a hugely populated high school, but the workload I'm semi-familiar with.
Here are some of my tips for handling loads of homework, and preparing for tests and still being able to see friends on the weekend.
First of all, study every night. Even if it's only for 15 minutes, as long as you get the concept.
Get the easy stuff done first. You'll be thankful when your assigned a huge project, and you got everything else out of the way.
Make flash cards. Yes, it may seem a bit nerdy, but reading your vocab terms every night before going to bed will help you prepare for that big test.
Lastly, try to get weekend homework over with on Friday. The whole "waiting till Sunday night" thing isn't gonna cut it anymore. If you get your work over with early, it will give you more time to chill with friends for the rest of the weekend.
Guess I need to get my atoms together. Get it?
No one ever said being the President would be easy, but was it always this hard? Barack Obama's approval ratings have been sinking lower and lower recently, currently hovering around 40 percent. Reelection looks increasingly unlikely. This wouldn't be as significant if George Bush, Obama's predecessor, hadn't been similarly destroyed by the end of his presidency, leaving office at an astoundingly low 22 percent and hovering in the 20s through much of his presidency.
In other words, no matter what your opinion of either leader is, it's hard to deny that the American people turned on both in huge numbers. Though both Bush and Obama have made their mistakes, it begs the question if, in today's dangerous political climate, any president could be viewed as successful.
The creation of the system that destroyed America's economy and created the political wrestling match that's occupied Washington for years now was not created by any one man. Likewise, no one man has the power to end it. The American people seem to expect their president to be able to wave a magic wand and fix problems that have been developing for decades – or follow through on the campaign promises they were forced to make to get elected. In today's system, in which Congress is burdened with filibusters and red tape, it's borderline impossible for anyone to do the drastic things that need to be done to pull America out of its tailspin.
The presidency, then, has become a meat grinder. Charismatic, promising men go in and defeated, scorned ones come out. No one can instantly fix America's myriad problems, yet this is what the American people expect without fail.
It's not a sure thing that Obama will lose in 2012, low approval ratings aside. But if he does, whatever Republican succeeds him had better watch his back. If recent history applies, anything other than instantaneous results will result in him falling to the same fate as his predecessors.
More than half of the 41 arrests made in the past year in one very specific area were attributed to assault, disorderly conduct in public and driving under the influence. Sounds like the bad rap characteristic of an inner city. Or the more unruly portion of the National Football League.
It’s astounding that avid fans across the country rally behind their favorite football players like cheerleaders, don their jerseys and spew their stats in conversation while their wayward idols- players like Jermaine Phillips, Braylon Edwards and the notorious Michael Vick- gad about in their expensive cars, swigging alcohol from a bottle in one hand and placing bets on illegal dog-fights with the other.
Phillips, Tampa Bay buccaneers safety, was accused of domestic violence by strangulation, an appalling third degree felony in January.
Edwards was arrested on September 21, 2010 for a DUI in Manhattan. He was pulled over and asked to take a breathalyzer, and the dazed football player registered twice the legal limit of intoxication while operating a motor vehicle.
Former Carolina Panthers linebacker Mark Fields was arrested in August after a brutal altercation with his daughter’s mother. Despite a restraining order, Fields confronted the woman, threw her to the ground after choking her and threatened to kill her.
And the list goes on.
What kind of example are professional athletes setting for students? High school athletes strive to run, tackle, score and win with as much skill, determination and bravado as the pros. They model their moves on the field after the most esteemed players, watching every game with enthusiasm and concentration so they can ape their tactics and strategies. So understandably, the negative aspects of professionals’ lives-their bad drinking habits, violent tendencies, disregard for the law and disrespect for “little people” are somehow included in their idealized athletic persona. What can we possibly learn from them?
It's true; everyone makes mistakes, and everyone is entitled to. But those who are in the public eye, placed on pedestals and serve as an "inspiration" for youth should be more careful than everyone else. They are admired by the most susceptible portion of society; teenagers. Our fallible minds are in the middle of development; we're currently forging our identities and becoming the people we will be for the rest of our lives. Rather than idolizing politicians, law enforcement officers, doctors and teachers, the real movers and shakers of this world, we go all starry-eyed before irresponsible, over-paid football players. We sincerely admire them. The question is: Will be become like them?
The soft sounds of crashing waves, the "caws" of the seagulls, the warm rays of sunlight caressing your face, along with the crisp salty scent of the ocean make up your average day at the beach.
But today, September 18, 2011 was no average day at the Hollywood Beach.
Today Latinos and Latinas all over South Florida gathered to attend the Latin Festival on the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk.
Latin culture was celebrated with music and performances by Latin singers and dancers.
Funny thing is, the dancers were not the only people dancing, even random people on the joined in the celebration.
The smells of BBQ chicken, deep fried pork, mozzarepas, and plantains wafted through the air and mixed with the salty smell of the ocean.
This created a mouth-watering array of scents that appealed to the senses.
In addition to the main dishes, there were a wide variety of tropical fruit juices to choose from.
The minute you waled into the Latin festival, it was like walking into a Latin American conference.
Most of the people attending the festival wore clothing that had their country’s name or flag on it.
In fact, one of the vendors were selling flags and shirts for that purpose.
Some of the people even wore the flag as a shirt or hat. Men, women, and children wore flag-themed bathing suits.
Either way, most people we wearing something that identified their “home” country.
Overall, the Latin festival was a wonderful experience and very entertaining to attend.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I have been counting down the days until I get my license since I was 12. The independence, freedom, and of course, the red convertible Barbie car (which has changed, I promise.)
Monday, September 12, 2011
Moviefone and Fandango are great apps to have on your phone to see showtimes and even get tickets to movies before even getting to the theater!
Not to mention that they're free!
And now even popular movie theater chains have their own apps, so you can have an app for your favorite theater.
These apps also give you a synopsis of the movie, reviews and ratings from viewers and critics, and some even let you watch short clips of the movies, or trailers.
I use these apps all the time on my iPhone, and I also know they are available for many other smartphones including on the Android market.
These are great free, and useful apps that you'll be sure to be constantly using if you're a movie buff like I am.
Watercolor painting is an easy hobby to pick up that's fun for everyone. In my free time I love painting, it's a good way to get your thoughts in order and only takes about 30 minutes to do. All I use when I paint is a set of 18 watercolor paints, watercolor paper and a paintbrush. All of it can be found at any local arts and crafts store. I recommend it for anyone, because it's so easy to do and there's so many things you can do with watercolors. There's no mistakes in watercolor painting, anything can be fixed if you add water and smear it across the page. You can create any color you desire just by adding a little of each and mixing it together. So, if you're looking for a new hobby or have always been interested in painting but never tried it, give it a try!
9/11 was the sort of cataclysmic event that's impossible to look at fairly and objectively at first. Emotions ran high immediately in the aftermath (of course), images were plastered everywhere – it loomed over the immediate aftermath like nothing else.
But ten years later, now that we can gain perspective on the tragedy, the event takes on new, saddening dimensions. Because as bad as 9/11 was, the things that it begat were even worse. It was a turning point, a spiraling downward.
However one leans politically, it's hard to deny that the American war in the Middle East has been awful. 2,000 people died in 9/11, but 4,459 American soldiers have been killed in the war. Over 50,000 innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed, with some estimating the count at as high as 90,000.
Moreover, the brief aftermath of togetherness and unity created by 9/11 has been followed by ten years of relentless partisan bickering in the American political arena. Two presidents, one after another, have been relentlessly criticized and destroyed by the media. The economy crashed (although 9/11 can't be necessarily blamed for that).
If this all sounds overly negative, that's because it is. With all the 9/11 memorial, a memorial for the American spirit of confidence that it shattered might be in short order as well.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
|My ideal sport? Mountain biking. |
©2008-2009 Sports Desktop Wallpaper
Yet it's only now that I realize how much joining a sport can do for you, how much it can mean to you.
It's not just my parents or friends urging me to get fit or stay healthy.
It's not something tangible like that.
I just can't believe I've never gone to visit.