Archive for October, 2010

Oct 14 2010

Term 5

Published by under Comm 208

Iowa Governor nominee, Terry Branstad, spoke at Morningside College on Monday. The four time governor discussed a range of topics including “fiscal mismanagement,” education, unemployment, even a few anecdotes. Quoted as saying, “Culvert produced the largest budget in our poorest economic times,” Branstad often referred to incumbent Chet Culver, as well as the Democratic party and their mistakes.

The mixed crowd of “baby-boomers” and students proposed a variety of questions to the republican nominee. When asked about health care Branstad responded, “President Obama’s health care bill needs radical surgery.” Morningside student Ryan Tellinghuisen, “thought he focused on his grand-kids a bit much,” with regards to Branstad and claims he doesn’t like children. As well as his view that preschool is, “…not an entitlement.”

Miranda Christian, “felt a little intimidated by the older crowd,” and refrained from discussing abortion.  Although, same-sex marriage and unemployment were brought up. Support for home schooling and tax credits to employers who offer technical training tuition were other highlights of the afternoon.

As Iowa’s longest-serving former governor, Republican Terry Branstad is seeking his fifth term this November 2nd. By planning visits to other educational institutions, Branstad hopes to gain the confidence of younger voters. Having already been to Iowa’s 99 counties, he feels strongly that he advocates for all Iowans.  He also hopes that his proven track record will reflect in this years polls and help seat him for a fifth time.

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Oct 13 2010

Skate and Surf: A Guide to Winter Driving

Published by under Comm 208

“I cried and almost pooped my pants.” The glaring semi lights quickly approaching. Her car sliding down the center of the highway out of control Traci Regennitter is lucky to be alive. Fortunately, counter-steering herself to safety seconds before impact.

Nowadays, Traci has an SUV for her winter commutes. Her Ford Mustang is stored for roughly $100 until mid-April. For most this isn’t an option. Traci’s advice “You have to winterize your vehicle.”

Wayne Monroe works for Mr. Tire and offered added advice. Wayne’s main point, “winterizing your vehicle is not only about the car itself. “ When I asked how much it would cost to get my car ready for the icy roads, “about $15 or $20” was his reply. A few calls to other shops confirmed Wayne’s service estimate.  Check tires, battery, heater, all fluids and wiper blades, a few of the inspections.

On January 15th, 2007 ran a story about winterizing your vehicle. The site offered ten tips. A well-serviced vehicle and, as Wayne mentioned, a well-prepared driver were number one.

Number nine on the list was to preparing an emergency kit. Having useful things such as blankets, extra clothes, and a small shovel seem obvious. On the contrary, keeping paper towels, sand and food (with hard candy being one of the articles suggestions.)

Additionally, number ten on the Today show’s list may save lives. It deals with knowing what to do if ever stranded. Why had hard candy made the emergency kit list? Sure hard candy wouldn’t freeze but it wouldn’t feed either. Consequently, it isn’t to sustain. It’s to keep your mouth from getting to dry.

Not wandering unless knowing where to go and wearing the extra clothes for warmth again seem common sense. Yet, would you ever think to leave a window cracked despite blistering winds outside? This, “so that snow and ice don’t seal the car shut.”

Keeping a full tank of gas, another beneficial tip. Most commuters are starving students, the last thing anyone wants to spend money on is gas. However, the alternative to that is a frozen gas line. That costly repair bill paling in comparison to the few extra bucks at the pump.

Here’s hoping you never feel like Traci did that day.  With a little luck and these helpful tips, you should skate right on through to spring with no reason to soil.

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Oct 08 2010

Dora “Explores” for Cash!!

Published by under Weekly Journals

Today on Yahoo news was a story about the contract dispute between current Dora the Explorer voice, 14 year old Caitlin Sanchez, and Nickelodeon representatives. The suit, filed by Sanchez’s lawyer, claims that not only Nickelodeon’s execs but her own agent strong-armed her into signing the contract.

The terms “convoluted” and “inscrutable” were used by Sanchez’s lawyer to describe the current agreement. In it Sanchez is reportedly paid upwards of $5000 per episode. Certainly, not a drop in the bucket by today’s standards. However, lawyers feel it doesn’t compensate for the hundreds of recording hours and promotional appearances (where Sanchez receives a meager $40 per Diem.)

This mere peanuts compared to the $11 billion the Dora brand has grossed.  Had Caitlin and her parents explored the terms of the contract like her animated alter ego studies her treasure maps. Then perhaps, X would mark the spot where she refused to sign.

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Oct 04 2010

Sioux City Journal’s Future

Published by under Comm 208

After listening to Thomas Ritchie, online director of the Sioux City Journal, one thing was clear.  Newspaper isn’t dying it’s redefining itself. I like most thought newspaper had lived it’s heyday. Mr. Ritchie came, and in 45 minutes changed my mind.

He stumbled through an extremely informative presentation. One, where I learned about engaging media. This meaning how twitter feedback guides news stories and tailors them to niche’ audiences.  He helped me understand that online news wasn’t  linear like it’s predecessor. I have read several online stories and never really thought about that.

The Sioux City Journal isn’t trying to make me buy a daily. That’s what grandparents are for.  Ryan, “..was confused.” and he should be. Ryan, I don’t think buys a newspaper. Although, I’m sure his parents have a subscription to one. That’s when I realized what Mr. Ritchie was trying to get across.

Ryan won’t have to buy a paper unless he wants to. However, he still needs news and goes online for it like I do. The journal is simply trying to be that place for news.

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Oct 01 2010

Bear Down

Published by under Weekly Journals

After an 0-4 preseason, I thought my favorite team was done. In the weeks leading up to this years NFL season no-one was talking about the Chicago Bears. All the hype was over Tim Tebow, and the New York Jets. Few if any websites were even mentioning the Bears. Why is this relevant to mass communication?

Because, in the weeks leading up to the regular season shows like HBO’s Hard Knocks: Jets Training Camp and Tim Tebow fever had swept the nation. As a result, on July 7Th of this year Tebow’s  jersey sales were #1  and the Jets were being featured (whether good or bad) on all mainstream media.

Today however, the Bronco’s stink and Tebow’s jersey sales are now reflecting that. The Jets, media headliners just weeks prior, are today page two news. Teams like the Chiefs, Steelers, and Bears are dominating Facebook talks as well as headlines and cover stories.

Looking at today, two of the four headline stories are about my beloved Bears, whereas recently as three weeks ago the Bears didn’t even make the bottom page blog. This past week, Devin Hester’s punt return touchdown appeared as Yahoo’s lead video.

I guess winning really does cure everything. Go Bears!!!

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