Friday, April 3, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
P.S. At the cemetary today I noticed the last names on the headstones were written in Helvetica.
Helvetica? I think so.
The main reason I wish my eyes were a camera, however, is Wednesday night.
After our first day of treking across Columbia University and dinner at Ollie's Noodle Shop, our group filed into the lobby of the Pennsylvanian Hotel, amongst many foreign tourists and the like. Since the elevator situation is basically first come first serve, Ari, Liz S., and myself pushed our way into a croweded car of drunk Scottish men. Before the doors even close, a pale skinny man starts stripping himself of his shirt! Maybe I need to repeat this for you slow readers or skimmers.
HE STARTED STRIPPING, BEAR NAKED.
I am telling you, this man wasted absolutely no time. Since all of us were getting off at the third floor, in less than 30 seconds, he was wearing a birthday suit. He then started to push toward Ari, myself, and another young man behind Ari, who was just caught in this crazy elevator with these crazy people. When we finally got to the third floor, we all stumbled off, the former pantless man now wearing his jeans, laughing hysterically.
I guess you can never tell with some people. One moment you think they are cute foreign tourists, the next, they are stripping in your elevator.
P.S. We met Tim Gunn. Lyke zOMG.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
But I guess the meat of this post would have to be the idea that the internet is too expansive to imagine. Honestly, the human race is to the internet as god is to the cosmos. We control an ever expanding, unconquerable domain. And just think about the miniscule fraction of the internet that the average American (not the average human, considering the assumed fact that most humans will never have access to the internet) will explore. I spend my internet time on facebook, wikipedia, and a tiny bit of last.fm. It's kind of interesting to categorize the different types of sites too. Galaxies would be divided into the social networking or the reference, the shopping or the professional. Planet facebook is a web of interconnected elements, each with the characteristics of the divine, yet just as inanimate as the wind or the waves. I guess the question (that only surfaced as this post developed) is the same one that religious fanatics and scientific researchers have debated for centuries: if that spark of life does come, will it be from us, the divinity, or will it spawn through events beyond our control and understanding?
That's some matrix shit right there.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
To conclude, I think it's pretty interesting to have every passage contain information about the media. I guess Communications class affects me more than just period 2 from Monday- Friday.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
But then I realized that the influence such potential endowment-givers wouldn't be that much greater than your average scheming advertising agency, would it? What do I know about spheres of influence in the land of cash-money, I'm only making assumptions here.
Also, I read a couple responses below, and I got a completely different vibe from the article than some people. I'm not thinking about endowments as comparable to recent bailouts in the slightest. Newspapers aren't asking the government to erase their debts, they're asking for private groups to help fund their publications. Right? Isn't there a difference? Am I totally wrong? The media seems to me to be at the wrong end of the stick, which companies relying on bailouts seem to be closer to the cause of.
Blah blah blah, who knows the answer to this big moral questions, blah blah blah, not me.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
A world without newspapers or even books would be the end of a major part of education and progression. If newspapers, magazines and books are gone society is going to lose a vital and necessary part of life the chances to form their own opinions and think for themselves.
So now newspapers need to be saved. I'm not all that surprised that they are asking for a (do I have to say it again?) bailout. Granted, this b****** is for only $5 billion, it pales in comparison to many of the other b******s (let's go with a different one this time...Bank of America). But this bailout (I'm too lazy to use those asterisks over and over again) would render the newspapers as NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. So the newspapers would be funded solely through outside sources who don't expect anything in return. No "good" press for themselves, these contributors just want newspapers to survive. For the sake of argument, there could be some who are like that. What I think, and I know I'm just a caucasian, Jewish man, with a high school education and no "real world" experience, is that there are few people left who are truly that virtuous. Not like there isn't some bias in certain newspapers already, but I think it would be much more prevalent when given these "endowments."
Now to tackle the problem, there is a simple solution (not mine, I heard it on The Daily Show a few weeks ago), start charging money to read the day's news online. Just like people can buy a paper at a newsstand for maybe $1 a day, the people can pay $1.25 a day to read their news on the internet. This price (hypothetical) would provide the physical newspapers with an edge in price and would drive people away from their internet news. And I know that my plan is not perfect. I obviously haven't tested the theory or have any real expertise on the matter, but nowadays it seems like everyone is looking for their bailout...
Sample Dialogue (fake)
Boss-"Our company is failing, we need to file for bankruptcy. What should we do?"
Employee-"Oh I KNOW! I KNOW! Let's find new and better ways to make money!"
Boss-"Shhh, we don't care about all that fancy new things to do. We need an easy way out."
Different employee who, after his suggestion will receive a promotion-"Let's ask for a bailout from the government!"
Boss-"Great idea! It's easy, and why should we take responsibility for our failure? You get a promotion, no pay raise though."
So as it seems as if every company and every industry asks for more and more bailout money from the government, can newspapers please ask themselves if they can find some other way of making money?
During his speech, however, he too mentioned the issue that this article brings to mind. When an audience member asked him about if he thought there was a decreasing amount of newspapers and an increasing amount of people using the internet as their main source of news, he responded with "absolutely."
At the time, this statment blew my mind. How could a man of such prestige that feels so much passion towards the magazine, a printed form of media, he works at admit defeat? How could he back down, only to let newspapers and magazines alike go completly extinct without attempting any sort of prevention or fight?
However, as he proceeded with his point, it started to make sense. He nor anyone else was "admitting defeat." They were simply adapting. Whether we like it or not, the internet is here to stay. Nothing will get worse about the internet, only better. It is highly unlikly, both in the near future and the long term, that we will revert back to the time when you got your news strictly from newspapers and other forms of printed media. Now that the internet's potential has been realized, it will not be limited.
What we need to do is find a way to make newspapers and magazines unique in a way that is not applicable to the ways of the internet. Though it will be hard to find such a way, it is possible and I believe this will someday be acheived.
That being said, I am not in total agreement with the endowments the article talks about. If a newspaper is not allowed to print information about upcoming elections and politics, what is the point? If a newspaper cannot voice their opinion, then is it defeating the purpose of the paper?
As you can see, there is no solution to this problem. The only conclusion I have come to is that in the end, not everyone will be happy.
The percentage of people that appreciate print media is shriveling. Personally, I love having a tangible newspaper, and trust it so much more than anything I read on the Internet. There is something virtuous about a newspaper, that in my eyes at least, the Internet will never have.
But I do believe that society needs to adjust to the times. It would be unrealistic for me to believe that with all the debt, that the newspaper will survive. In these economic times, everyone needs to cut luxuries and the newspaper is becoming one of them. With the number of newspapers that have filed for bankruptcy, most economic solutions are unlikely. Couple that with the environmental issue and you have good reasons not to invest in print media.
So for now, until we reach a point where America is economically stable enough to bring back print media, newspapers companies should embrace the Internet. Without any print media to support, a strictly online newspaper will have a better chance at surviving. I am no economic expert but I feel that the 2008 research report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Company stating that ads to support and online newspaper are "is idiotic on its face" is a little extreme. There are plenty of websites that are self-sufficient and a newspaper can be one of them.
Maybe these websites need to provide something more than text content. I do not know what that would exactly be but things need to be changed. Pouring money from one place to another will not give you any solution. Some evolution needs to take place and I think the decline of print media is just the start of a new era.
This just ties in well with the start of article :)
Although the New York Times Op-Ed piece made some very compelling arguments, the idea of newspapers relying on endowments just seems unnatural to me. Call me cynical, but the thought of wealthy individuals donating money to newspapers with no strings attached seems far too good to be true (especially considering the current economic state). The role of the newspaper has always been to objectively inform the American public about matters of pressing concern, and I just don't think it's possible for papers to continue to play this role when their bank accounts are controlled by private individuals with their own agendas.
I feel like the NYT Op-Ed piece's assertion that a newspaper could remain autonomous despite the fact that it is funded through endowments is untrue. Sadly, in this day and age, the freedom to print the stories of your choice with the angles of your choice hinges partially on your fiscal autonomy.
I understand that it would be naive and just flat out wrong for me to assert that newspapers have a chance of survival if they continue to run the way they currently do. As the NYT Op-Ed piece pointed out, newspapers which are run like businesses will only continue to fail during these economic times. However I think that, despite their seemingly dismal future, newspapers have been given a great opportunity to prove themselves and cement their role in society.
Now is not the time for newspapers to throw in the towel and give up their precious autonomy; now is the time for newspapers to reinvent themselves, alter their business approaches, and do whatever it takes to continue to survive and serve the American people. I believe that if newspapers are able to do this they will be more widely respected once this economic crisis is over.
As a student who wants to pursue a career in journalism and who will definitely have to make a living off her writing, I am dismayed by the impending death of print journalism. I dont want to try to break into an industry that is crumbling at its foundation. Even as a simple fan of magazines, the affect of the economy and technological progression on print media concerns me. I love being able to physically pick up a copy of my favorite magazine, or peruse an article at length during breakfast. I do not rely on the internet for news, I simply don’t have time to spend searching for news on the computer. This might make me lazy, or ignorant, but I like reading PAPER, not PIXELS.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"I had watched the news and seen and heard the destruction of the 9th ward. But it’s not until you see it with your own eyes that it really sinks in and hits home. I've always believed that the spirit of skateboarding is making something out of nothing, and I have applied this mentality all over the world in any and every environment, but try as i might I could not imagine riding my skate board through the 9th ward. I did not feel it appropriate. And really, as I drove through the tattered streets, skate boarding was the farthest thing from my mind."
When I woke up yesterday morning, the feeling that can really only be described as "snow day mania" grabbed hold of me with full force. I rolled out of bed and downstairs to start a long day of lounging. I was not surprised to find the TV in my living room on, thanks to my brother who has yet to learn to shut it off when he leaves the room. What startled me was what was playing in his absence; it was a show called Drive-The South: Part 1. It quickly became background noise until I heard the quote posted above. The show was an episode in a mini series which features a skateboarder, Mike Vallely, who drives around the world exploring people, places, and issues that affect skateboarding and other aspects of youth culture.
In this episode, Vallely was driving down the devastated region of the 9th ward in New Orleans. The damage and destruction was something I was too familiar with. Having directly seen and felt the pain of those in New Orleans, this show brought a different perspective to my experience. You can never estimate how far damage and destruction will influence and affect life as we know it. I never considered that the skateboarding culture of New Orleans was affected by the hurricane. All the media mainly focused on following the storm was damage damage damage and rescue rescue rescue. Once the immediacy of the problem faded from the media's focus, New Orleans' recovery has all but faded from view. The city which was once the cause of inspiration for thousands was washed away in the months following the storm. Musicians, football players, teachers, swimmers, soccer players, students, party animals; all the facets of the city's culture has to be pieced back together, one by one, until the mosaic of life, love, and laughter which embodies New Orleans can once again be seen by all.
This was an interesting juxtaposition for me; the direct experience along with a national media perspective. Which one do you think prevails in our daily lives?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Brace yourselves Stamfordites(?), the biggest thing to come to Stamford since (your choice) Boyz II Men or Hootie and the Blowfish is coming! That's right, Jerry Springer AND Maury Povich are moving their shows to be filmed in none other than our town, Stamford, Connecticut.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
I couldn't get my computer to actually post the video... Sorry about that.
So this video seems extremly irrelevant and "dumb" but I would like to describe the significance. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were probably my childhood role models when I was a developing young child. I loved their personalities, their roles in movies, fashion styles, and everything about them. But a couple years ago, Mary Kate was said to be annorexic. Me, a developing teenager automatically looked at this with pure disgust. How could some one I adored have this disease that defined pure weakness and inability to deal with challenges? And the media sure didn't change my view about her. Instead, it reinforced my idea and just made me completely lose interest in the Olsen twins. So here's a question I would like to put out there. Does the media really positively effect us? Does it really show us the truth in what various celebrities have to face? Why was it that I never seemed to hear something from Mary Kate's side of the story? For once it would be nice to hear her views.
The combination of these two pieces really put me in a go-do-something mood. I want to be a vagabond! I want to ditch this commercial lifestyle and the "achieve-success-for-future-success's sake" mindset that I've been born into. I want to traverse the outbacks and forests and sands and mountains. I want to revert to the barter system: I want to help people and have them help me. I want to meet new people and return to the world my parents grew up in, where we aren't constantly afraid of trusting strangers. I want to travel with these strangers, eat with strangers, sleep on strangers' couches, and build up contacts from all parts of the globe, covering all social classes and ethnicities. And I want to stay in touch with them. I want to be able to call them up when I get off a train in a random city and have a place to sleep.
I want to have an amazing crowd at my funeral.
Don't call me an idealist until you've read those two articles... and don't call me an idealist after that either. I'll disagree with you, because I want to think it's all possible.
On second thought, I've done it before. The absolute uncontested highlight of my life thus far was my trip to Europe over the summer of 2007. I went with complete strangers and they all turned into great friends. I still keep in touch with a ton of them who live across the country, even my 3 counselors (I just wish I met more Europeans...) I was free that summer. It was a month long but I had such a great time. We slept on the ground and ate only what we could make for 17 people out of a pot, pan and 2 petroleon stoves. It wasn't a comfortable trip, but I can't even describe in words how amazing it was. I guess that is evidence backing the main idea of that second article... I didnt need my "American life" there. All I needed was my nalgene, a few euro coins, and a ride.
Here are a few photos that really ebody this spirit I want to regain.
I'm going to the Netherlands with my sister this summer and I'm going to get the chance to envelope myself in this lifestyle for a little bit (two weeks.) I'm super excited now. But what about after that? I'm going to college, and when I get out of college I'll get a job (doing god knows what...) But what if I'd rather take a break after college? Maybe I should have done it before college... I guess I'll have to wait now. We've all got time.
I guess I'm going to need to start saving for airfare... the rest I want to leave to manipulate on my own when necessary... a few years from now.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Everyone has a calling. That one passion that defines who they are. That one obsession that gives them joy and helps them to comprehend their lives and their universe. Not everyone finds it right away, but when they do, they hold on to it forever. For me, that obsession is music.
Music has been a part of my life since before I can remember. My mother is greatly responsible for my musical gifts, and my father isn't far behind. My mother is a classically trained violinist, who studied at Juilliard. My father can't say that he went to Juilliard, but his father and two uncles played first three horns with the NBC symphony under Toscanini. I likely heard the reverberations of Mozart and Beethoven while in my mother's womb. She was auditioning for different orchestras at the time, while pregnant with me, and I wouldn’t be surprised if her violin practicing did more than annoy the neighbors.
Although I began piano lessons when I was 7, it wasn't until I was fourteen that I suddenly felt an urge to write music. One day, seemingly spontaneously, I just could not stop hearing music in my head. This was before I knew how to notate music, and so in my desperation to save these ideas that seemed fleeting, I sang them into a recorder. Once I developed the skills to actually write this music down in notes, I signed up with a composition teacher and have been composing ever since.
I stumbled upon this ad while doing research today. I think the design and message are really simple yet powerful, and I thought some of you (Mr. V-Dubbs) might appreciate it.
I know I'm overdue for a schpeel(sp?) about my trip to New Orleans, so I might as well begin it now.To begin, it was extraordinary, incredible, and amazing.
To be more specific, I had the best time getting close with old friends and meeting new people, as well as experiencing the magic of a truly inspiring U.S. city. There were about 20 people in our group, several of them from Westhill ( Me, Cody, Dan Gomez, Rachel Naumann, Will Hart, James Forde, Alex Sotasonti, and Ryan... I don't remember his last name). We flew in on the Monday of vacation and worked from 7 in the morning to about 4 on Tuesday-Friday, then came home on Sunday. We were able to get an extensive tour of the city, shop the French Market, get coffee and benignets at Cafe Du Monde, attend a Mardi Gras parade, and see an Imax movie about the devasation of Katrina and the destruction of New Orlean's marsh lands.
My favorite part was definately the parade. Everyone was swimming in beads, myself included, and we were really able to understand the vitality and energy that is New Orleans.
We arrived, yadda, yadda, yadda, and then we woke up the next day at 6:30! That is the earliest I’ve ever woken up at a hotel. All was not lost though since I get to really test out MA BOOTS! They lasted through the day; what a day! Work, work, work, and more work was in store for us. Also, Canadians. Man, all I thought about was showing up those Canadians and believe me we did. Ok, this is how it went down… We got there at 8:00 am and started working. We had 19 people, and at 10 o’clock 30-40 Canadians showed up with matching purple t-shirts and smiles on their faces. Basically they pounded one side of a house with their hammers for 6 hours, while we dug, raked, lifted, hauled, moved, dumped, carried, picked up, built, shoveled, hammered, hauled, shaped, placed, bled, cut, snuffed, rubbed, scrubbed, and worked on all kinds of stuff. With a couple of a couple hour breaks.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Interesting findings on Election Media Coverage, what do you guys think?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I went to Austria a couple of years ago for the Salzburg Music Festival. The Music festival is one of the most famous in the world, and it was an incredible experience. I met dozens of fascinating and incredibly talented musicians, composers and proffessors, and it was a truly humbling experience.
Amsterdam Canals, At the Ice Caves in Salzburg, Austria in 2005, Mozart's House
While in Austria we also traveled to Amsterdam for 3 days which was pretty crazy. We went to the Van Gogh and Rijks museums' which were awesome, and marvelled at the beauty of the canals and the area. There were lot's and lot's of "coffee" shops as well...... it is Amsterdam!
Monday, February 23, 2009
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well, my valentines day wasnt as exciting as bet most of your's were because I was in bed extremely sick! yes, not fun at all. Unfortuantly for me I was not able to got to Florida like Sam did or to Mexico like Shivali. I was laying in bed since friday afternoon.. Sleeping. How ever as many people have already metioned, the media never ceases to entertain us with its bizzare stories. Or shall I say, Stamford? Crazy chimps on a lose, another bank robbery, and NCC students now getting text messages getting sent to their cell phones when ever an emergancy occurs. When I finally felt a little better, I went up to Fordham to visit a couple of friends in college. And in a conversation about school (High school vs. College) my college friends told me that they too get text messages when ever an emergancy occurs. Although it is not from their teachers, they all send it to each other. I shared with them how we all get calls home when there is going to be a snow day, or of course when we don't show up to class. But we all agreed that maybe it would be a better idea if the board of ed. would just send us text messages. It's easier and I believe alot faster. Most people live in text messages and a great majority have unlimited. And the board of ed. wouldn't neccesarly have to send them just to us students, our parents of course would be invloved in this long list. It would also make it easier for those parents who get home late from work or get up right before the sun to go to work.. One thing is deffinitly certain, techonolgy is really advancing BIG TIME!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I didn't do much over the vacation. The highlight of it, however, was seeing Ne-yo perform at Radio City Music Hall. This event occurred on Sunday, February 22, 2009 (as you can see), hence the reason why I'm making all three of my posts at the very last minute.
Ne-yo, along with Jazmine Sullivan and Musiq Soulchild, completely took over the stage, creating a very powerful performance. As I watched them perform, it made me wonder if I could do what they were doing. I'm not talking about their talent for singing or having an infinite amount of energy. I'm talking about their ability to get in front of a large crowd of people and speak as if stage fright has completely passed them by. Even though it probably has (and probably has always been that way), I still can't help but wonder if I can do the same. Well, all shy people probably wonder if they can do the same.
The concert has also made me wonder if I could be where they're standing. It seems like a faraway dream; like a star in the sky I can't reach. I guess I'll just have to reach out as far as I can and push as many people as possible out of my way. That seems like a good metaphor for achieving my dreams. I honestly do think that I have the potential, though. Like Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it." It sounds cliche, but I have reason to believe that it's pretty much true. Anyone has the potential to become anything they want to be if they put their mind to it. So, I don't necessarily always look at faraway dreams as faraway dreams. Sometimes I think of them as career paths that I can either follow or not follow.
If you're destined to become something, then it's never too late to pursue it (unless you're forty or something). With that said, I think I may truly give the musical career path a chance.
Personally, after first seeing the comic, I was shocked. I immediately thought back to when calling an African- American a monkey was a racial slur. While I sincerely hope that The New York Post would not ever try to print a comic intended to be insulting to our own president, I am not sure if they are completely without fault. Why bring up the stimulus bill then? Is it just a coincidence that President Obama recently signed that bill?
Furthermore, I am a bit appalled at the fact that some people feel comfortable with the comic. I was under the impression that we have moved dramatically past the differences between skin colors. Maybe I was wrong.
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It took six tries to lay the first transatlantic telegraph wire. For nine years, the US and Great Britain invested millions of (19th century, remember inflation) dollars in an attempt to connect the Western world. And the day that it happened, people throughout the civilized world danced in the streets.
It's natural to become complacent about these things, but it just makes you wonder, how far will we go, and at what cost?
Once we got into the little villiage compound it became clear that the locals had a very different standard of living than I am used to. Houses had no running water and were made out of wood or concrete, with the bare dirt serving as a floor. Stray dogs and children just sort of wandered all around. Outside of one house there was even a monkey chained on a leash (I found this especially ironic because once we passed the house with the pet monkey we all commented on how uncivilized/unsanitary it must be, and then returned to the hotel where the NATIONAL news informed us about the crazy chimp in STAMFORD, CT - guess were not as much better off as we thought...). Anyway, the picture above is of the local playground. I thought the rusty "bump ahead" sign in the foreground looked pretty cool in comparison to the dilapidated playground in the background.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
What was supposed to be just a food stop became something so much more special. We walked into a small alley and found a beautiful market. Most of the stall owners were old and all were descendents of the Mayans. The sold everything from desserts and fresh fruits to clothes and toys. It was easy to see that this area was a major part of the community. There was an undeniable look of sadness on the workers’ faces. Nevertheless, it was refreshing to see local life in a non-commercial area of Mexico.
I just thought this was cute.