Weekly News Comment #7

This week, I read an article from the Huffington Post titled, “Oklahoma Reportedly Used The Wrong Drug In A January Execution.” The sub head for this article was “After receiving the first drug in the lethal injection series, the man being executed said, “My body is on Fire.””

Overall, the headline and subhead is what got my attention on this story. When it says that the wrong drug was used, it made me want to know what was used and what happened. The quote given from the man being executed made the story seem more real. It made me want to know what was done about the drug mix up.

The lead is not very eye-catching, but it gives good, straight forward information and also links the reader to the original local newspaper article that the Huffington Post got its information from.

They start in the first body paragraph by stating what the mix up was. It then continues in following paragraphs to give supporting information on how the situation is being investigated.

Overall, the information was organized well and the article quickly got to the point.


Link to original article 

Dr. Patrick Blaine Interview

Dr. Patrick Blaine is no stranger to living abroad and he is sharing his experiences and knowledge with Morningside students first hand next semester.

Morningside College is offering a study abroad semester in Italy for the 2016 spring semester and Dr. Blaine, as a member of the study abroad committee, will be going along with the students.

The group will be gone for the whole spring semester. Dr. Blaine will be visiting home for a couple weeks in February for the birth of his first child.

Dr. Blaine’s experiences include living in Chile for three years and Spain for one year as well as several other countries that he has visited. Through his studying and travel, Blaine has become fully bilingual in English and Spanish and is familiar with French, Italian, and Portuguese.

Dr. Blaine values international education and loves living abroad. The semester in Italy allows him to experience both of these things while still having a job and a family. Dr. Blaine stated, “if I get an opportunity to do something fun – I do it”, thus only adding to the list of reasons for him participating on the trip.

According to Dr. Blaine, the Italian language is related to the Spanish language. So, this trip and Blaine’s fluency in Spanish will help him build on his knowledge of speaking Italian.

As a student, Dr. Blaine did not think he would be doing what he is doing now. After making the decision to try studying abroad, he quickly fell in love with it. His passion for and knowledge on international learning is greatly appreciated by Morningside College.

Weekly News Comment #6 – Service Dog Learned How To Save His Diabetic Owner’s Life

This week I read an article from the Huffington Post titled, “This Precious Service Dog Learned How To Save His Diabetic Owner’s Life.”

The headline alone personally made me want to continue reading. A service dog for diabetic patients is something I had never heard of before and immediately wanted to know more about how that situation works.

The subtitle, “Coach can smell when blood sugar levels have risen or dropped, before the symptoms even hit” already answers the question of how it works. However, the emotional appeal of this story can make the reader want to continue reading.

The lead has a very similar effect as the subtitle. It gives more detail into this particular story and girl. Again, with the emotional appeal and the last sentence of the lead (“Coach who, after nearly 2,000 hours of training, learned how to save Elle’s life”) makes the reader want to know more about this family.

The article is organized well and uses many quotes from the mother and daughter who own the service dog. Giving details as to how the dog notifies the family, and reasons why having the dog has made their lives easier and idea of the future brighter keeps the reader interested in the story.


Click for link to original article

Scavenger Hunt – News Conversation

My scavenger hunt objective was to have a conversation about a current news event.

During my shift at Peachwave Tuesday night, I stood at the counter doing homework, cleaning up, and manning the register as customers slowly filed in. Towards the middle of my shift, a man who looked like he was in his fifties or sixties came in for yogurt. This man, who I later found out is named Ken, went directly to the bowl dispenser and filled his up with chocolate yogurt and pecans.

While he was scanning the topping bar, I was putting away my notebooks, textbooks, pens, and laptop as people were starting to come in.

Once the man got to the register he asked me about my school work. Simple questions like what I was studying and if I enjoyed it. Upon answering, he told me that earlier that day, he read an article about a school in London where all use of the internet was banned for students under the age of 12.

On a normal day, this might have just been small talk. But this week, him bringing up the article was a perfect find for my scavenger hunt.

I asked him more about what he read. Ken said that “the purpose of the ban was to promote creativity. Instead of the students leaning on technology, they could create their own activities.”

As this was a news story that I had not yet heard of, but was interested in learning more about it, I asked if this was something all of the students are required to do. Technology is so common in children’s lives today from leisure activities to learning. He said that it was a particular school that was using this format and that the parents that choose to send their children there were in compliance with the absolutely no technology until the age of 12 rule.

My immediate feeling of being surprised at the information must have shown. Ken asked if I could imagine not having the availability of technology when doing my schoolwork. I can imagine it, as technology was not so deeply incorporated in education before I was 12. But in today’s age, it is hard to believe. Especially with the use of technology outside of the classroom.

Overall, this assignment was interesting. If I had not had this task, I would have most-likely never kept this conversation going with Ken. By doing so, I learned a lot and was happily surprised with how quick, yet full of information our interaction was.

Snack Cake Description

As I unwrap my twin pack of fall party cakes, the clear, plastic wrapper makes an unavoidable crinkling noise.

The red, yellow, and orange sprinkles on top of the chocolate frosting give a festive vibe to a classic snack. I grab the first snack cake and my fingers make indents on the warm frosting and the squishy cake underneath it.

As the first bite is taken, the smooth frosting starts to melt and the sweet, yellow cake feels dry and starts to crumble. There is a more airy chocolate frosting between the layers of the cake on the inside.

The explosion of sugary sweetness and powerful chocolate icing is something that will be satisfying to a dessert-enthusiast, but possibly overpowering to those who lack a sweet tooth.

Quotes and Attribution – Don Juan

John Dodge and Don Cooper make up the band Don Juan and are here to talk about their journey and their future as musicians.

Dodge, guitarist and singer songwriter, confirms that they “will be recording this spring.” He and Cooper have been singing together for about three years now and are confident that people will be hearing their work by the end of summer.

One of their biggest accomplishments as Don Juan thus far is a show they did in New York with Jackson Browne and James Taylor. According to Dodge, “James has been a fan for a while and Browne turned into a real solid supporter.”

When creating their material, Dodge emphasizes that they do not settle “for anything less than the best.” Cooper explains that the drive for their new music comes from the emotions and experiences they have when out on the road touring.

Before forming the band, Cooper admits that he did not think he could really make a living doing what he really loves. He decided to “be an English teacher just in case.” After three years, Dodge finally put his happiness first and started doing what he is best at; making music with Don Cooper.

Staying positive and working through the bumps in the road is worth it for these two.

Weekly News Comment #5 – Brian Williams Returns To TV — But He’s Not Talking About Himself

This week I read an article from the Huffington Post regarding Brian Williams and his return to television with MSNBC.

This article did a really good job of briefly explaining Williams’ past and the controversy his career faced. It gave enough information so the reader knew what was being talked about, but not too much to the point where the article seemed to only be about old news. Then, it focused on his new job at MSNBC, what he will be doing there, and his first story on the Pope’s United States visit.

I thought the headline and lead worked very well. The headline left the reader wondering . . . not talking about himself? What is he talking about?

The lead summarized very well what was in the article. The only issue is that it was not overly intriguing to someone who may not care about television news or Williams’ story. It just summed up the who, what, when, why, how.

Overall, this was a very well-written, informational story. The author did a great job of being objective, especially on this subject matter of whether Williams was really in the wrong and if he should get another chance or not. It gave the information readers need without carrying the story on for pages.

Click here to read original article.

Lowering the Drinking Age – Final Draft

The American drinking age of 21 sets us apart from all other developed countries. Recently, many people have accused this law of being outdated and causing more harm than good.

Results from a recent National survey found that 66% of students have used alcohol by the 12th grade. These numbers show that the act of underage drinking is not uncommon and the effort to keep those under the age of 21 from drinking has had a lack of success. In the United States, a citizen over the age of 18 is considered an adult and obtains the right to vote or serve in the army, but is denied a glass of wine with their dinner.

Alexis Aguirre, a writer for The University Star at Texas State University, believes that making drinking a forbidden act only drives young people to want to drink more.  Aguirre states, “Legal drinking age does not eliminate consumption among young people. Instead, it only drives underage drinking underground, creating a dangerous culture of irresponsible and extreme drinking.”

Aguirre makes it clear that by the time a person is considered an adult, they are more than capable of making their on decision on whether or not they consume alcohol.

A 21 and older drinking rule is thought to feed into the rebellious nature of teenagers.

The law passed in 1984 has shown to cause cases similar to those during the prohibition – those under the legal age set out to drink as much as they can and in the smallest amount of time possible because they do not know when they will be stopped.

Writer for Time Magazine, Camille Paglia, explains that young drinkers – college students in particular – turn to binge drinking at wild parties, giving them less control of their surroundings. Paglia states, “What this cruel 1984 law did is deprive young people of safe spaces where they could happily drink cheap beer, socialize, chat and flirt in a free but controlled public environment.”

One thing that all activists in favor of lowering the drinking age to 18 have in common is that it gives students a chance to learn to drink responsibly.

In an article posted by The New York Times, Gabrielle Glaser, the author of “Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Drink — and How They Can Regain Control,” says that “Teaching people to drink responsibly before they turn 21 would enormously enhance public health.” Glaser believes that allowing students between the ages of 18 and 20 to drink legally would drive them away from binge drinking at random parties and give them the opportunity of having a safe, controlled environment.


Texas State University article: https://star.txstate.edu/node/1704

Time Magazine article: http://time.com/72546/drinking-age-alcohol-repeal/

New York Times article: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/should-the-drinking-age-be-lowered/?_r=0

Lead Exercise Stories

1. Local Fire Fighter Falls Out of Tree While Rescuing Cat

Bob Harwood of the local fire department got hurt this week while out rescuing a cat that was stuck in a tree.

Harwood climbed a 50 feet oak tree to save the cat. 15 feet to the botton, Harwood fell due to a dead limb that broke under him. He was taken to St. Lukes hospital where he is doing “just fine” despite a broken left leg.

As for the cat, she landed on top of Harwood and is safe and sound at home with her owners, Suzanne and Samantha Decker


2. Alarms at Northeast High School

Between false alarms and food fights, Northeast High School is experiencing an unrest last few weeks before summer vacation.

Last Wednesday, the alarms were pulled 3 times by disgruntled students. These students were in protest of the suspension of 5 other students on Monday for smoking marijuana in the parking lot. There were 10 students involved in the false alarm issue and were all suspended. These suspensions were followed by a cafeteria-closing food fight on Tuesday.

Principal Laura Vibelius stated that these incidents were caused by general unrest, saying, “Not so much unrest because of suspensions, but because of summer vacation being so near.” With this, she expects no more incidents in the near future.


3. Streets Shut Down Due to Gasoline Spill

A Texaco gasoline truck overturned, flooding the sewer lines and causing streets to be closed and houses to be evacuated.

The accident occurred on 48th street and Correctionville Road. The streets and ditches were flooded and sewer lines were affected two blocks around.

Flushing the gas away took around 2 hours. During that time, 4 families were evacuated from their homes because of sewer line gas and cars were rerouted using side streets.

Fire Chief Charles Hochandel stated, “The firemen followed catastrophe and hazmat procedures set up beforehand for just such an occurrence.”

Weekly News Comment #4 – America’s Heartbeat and Our Stethoscope

This week I read an article titled, “America’s Heartbeat and Our Stethoscope.” This article was in response to the beauty pageant contestant who wore her nursing scrubs and stethoscope on stage during the talent portion to talk about her job as a nurse. Following this, the ladies on The View publicly made fun of this girl for doing so and questioned why she was wearing a “doctor’s stethoscope.”

The author used this article to inform readers and the public what doctors and nurses do by making it clear that nurses are very important in the medical field – thus calling a stethoscope a “doctor’s stethoscope” is incorrect.

This topic is definitely newsworthy and educating the public on a nurse’s intense job duties is important; however, this article did not explain the story enough. The headline is not going to mean a lot to anyone who has not yet read the story. The lead is intriguing, but it summarize what is in the rest of the article.

I personally agree with the author’s feelings on the matter and the points she made make sense. She did make it very clear that she was upset about the comments that were made. These feelings turned what she wrote more into a rant rather than a story. More information should have been given on what was said on The View and the consequences that came from their comments.


Link to original article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kateri-allard/joy-behar-nurses_b_8142516.html