It’s a tough day for someone who wants to report the news in a balanced way.
Few issues could be more difficult to tackle than vaccinations. On one hand, we know that the fairly new HPV vaccines (Gardasil being the most popular) have enormous public health benefits. Gardasil in is credited with preventing the kind of HPV that causes cervical cancer and other cancers (YIKES!) as well as the kind that causes genital warts (EWW!). But critics say HPV vaccines in particular are responsible for a range of conditions as well as dozens of deaths. The CDC has kept track of reported negative effects caused by the vaccine, and of the thousands of reported effects, only 7.4 percent were deemed “serious” this year. (“Serious” means hospitalization, prolongation of an existing hospitalization, permanent disability, life-threatening illness, or death). Despite the relatively low number of serious problems with the vaccines, advocates continue to lament the drugs’ dangers, even going as far as citing a debunked study linking the HPV vaccine to autism. (Here’s how it was debunked.)
Whether your job is to deliver information or entertainment (or in Couric’s case, maybe both), I feel that public health and safety should be regarded as a top priority. In class we talked about giving too much weight to certain ideas in an effort to showcase “all sides” of a story–the concept of false equivalency. Some opinions are perhaps so irrelevant that we should start calling them “corners” instead of “sides.” However, in this case, there is a really vocal and organic movement of concerned parents that demand their side be heard. I actually feel bad for Katie Couric’s staff because any decision about the coverage of this issue is going to piss off a lot of people.
Recently, I was sitting in a public area enjoying a cigarette, when a young man walked by, coughed, and shot a crude look my way, making no effort to hide the contempt in his eyes. How dare I smoke a cigarette in this designated smoking area that he had to walk by! How dare I restrict my disgusting habit to the few zones that were created for that one specific purpose!
As smokers, we pretty much all unanimously understand that when we burn tobacco, it does produce a distinct odor. We also understand that not everyone particularly enjoys that smell. That’s why we (considerate) smokers try our best to stick to the areas that are understood areas for smoking in. All we ask in return is a little empathy from you non-smokers. Very few people smoke cigarettes just to smoke cigarettes. Sure, people who have been smokers for a while mainly smoke due to addiction, but they had to start for some reason. Whether it be stress relief, the satisfying taste that tobacco can offer, or just something to fill free time, all smokers had an initial reason for picking up the habit. I’m by no means an Ayn Rand fan, but one quote about cigarettes from Atlas Shrugged has always stood out to me: “When a man thinks, there is a spot of fire alive in his mind– and it is proper that he should have the burning point of a cigarette as his one true expression.” Cigarettes can simply be something for one to sit and think behind.
So for all you non-smokers out there, think twice before you judge, because our cigarettes may replace your morning coffee or that unhealthy craving for McDonald’s. After a while, it gets kinda hard to chug through a day without that vice that we all have. So let smokers enjoy theirs in peace.
Over the weekend, British Olympic diver Tom Daley made a touching video in which he told the world that he was in a relationship with a man. What he didn’t do was put a label on himself. He could be gay, bi, pan, queer, or any number of other designations. Or, like a growing number of young people, he could just prefer not to have a label. But of course this didn’t stop some media outlets from rushing to label him. And while most outlets simply reported that he was in a relationship with a man, others did not. Among the offenders: The Bilerico Project, Yahoo News, and whatever website this is.
It is videos like this that remind me of the mind-blowing fact that we are literally living in the Jetson’s-Style “space age” that so many movies and cartoons made in the 20th century were set in. Amazon is now working on their new “Prime Air” feature, which will give customers the option to have their products instantly delivered by an unmanned aircraft or “drone”.
What I really loved about the video is that it is short, simple, and to the point, which is exactly how you have to be when capturing the audience of this generation. I, myself found the video on Stumbleupon, and I, myself, even admit to checking to see if it was longer than just a few minutes to see if I even wanted to watch it. It doesn’t waist your time with some sappy speech with how great the product is. It simply shows the process from start to finish in full detail in just barely over a minutes time, which really gives the viewer a good sense of how fast the service really is (which they are boasting will only take 30 minutes from order to delivery). I really have to give it to Amazon’s multimedia team for how they put this together. It really shows how well they have a grasp of how to capture today’s audience. Also, hats off to Amazon for such an amazing product. I can’t wait to be able to have my textbooks delivered to me in the same time it takes a pizza. Well done sirs.
I do not believe a picture is worth more than words. Simply because of how a picture can be interpreted. What you think is funny may not be funny to other. What you think is made for joy can actually cause people pain.
Hashtags are used on social networks, especially on Twitter. Hashtags occur when a hash precedes a word or phrase or pound sign to identify messages on a specific topic. The reasoning people perform this activity on social networks is to connect with others to see what he or she tweeted that was relevant to theirs.
Jimmy Kimmel did a sketch with Justin Timberlake on how annoying if we use hashtags in everyday conversation and I found it really funny because I find hashtags kind of annoying when used in other situations that does not involve using Twitter, for example, I find it irritating when people use hashtags on Facebook because hashtags are a better fit for Twitter use for connection and interaction. Facebook is more of a personal use.
While I was surfing the net on the very few off changes I get I sometimes see a photograph that just makes me say “WOW!” I’ve tried doing this myself but I have yet to capture my subjects in this way. I found the photograph on Photography Tips Facebook page. This page features tons of photographs made by photographers around the world.
I love this photograph because of it’s simplicity. The framing of the Eiffel Tower inside the bottle is very clever. The photograph also shows groups of people inside as well bringing the humanity to the photograph. You don’t know what they are doing… could just be walking, admiring the tower, or just hanging out. The possibilities are endless. You can practically come up with your own story while review this photograph.
The composition is just amazing. I like the fuzzy background around the bottle. Although you can not see it clearly, you know what you are looking at obviously. The lighting adds romance to the scene making it more intimate for the individuals inside. The outline of the bottle gives it an out of this world feel like someone captured this moment in a bottle to keep as a sentimental keepsake. The individuals inside are given their own little world away from the chaos of the rest of the universe.