Pirouline tasting

For our in-class writing assignment, we were tasked to describe the experience of tasting a certain food item. I chose to taste a Pirouline, a “Dark Chocolate, creme filled wafer.”, as the packaging proclaims.

The Pirouline looks like a long wafer roll, filled with chocolate. When I took the first bite, the wafer was tasteless but added a crunchy texture to the bite right away. After biting through the wafer, the chocolate cream was in stark contrast to the crunchy wafer, soft and creamy with a distinct dark chocolate taste.

What was interesting to me was, that while the wafer gave the distinctive texture of the initial crunch, it did not provide any flavor and while the chocolate did not give me any textural impressions, it provided all the flavor. So, for the food to provide the full experience of texture and taste both of these components are necessary, even thougheach of them only provides one distinct facet.

article #1 reflection

While writing my news article “The Case Antonio Brown”, the part of the process that I put the most effort in was writing a good and concise lead and then to be as complete as possible with my information throughout the article. The part that I should have put a little more effort into was to find good quotes from other new articles that would have enriched my story.

The most difficult part of writing this article was to strike the balance between being concise and featuring all the information relevant to the story. I think this is the biggest challenge of news writing in general because stories should be short but also as complete as possible.

The biggest problem was to strike exactly that balance but I think I was fairly successful at reporting all the relevant events without having the article be too long. 

scavenger hunt

Tasked with collecting a creatively bent paper clip and a musical recommendation from people around the Morningside campus, I set out on the quest to collect these items and hopefully meet some new people while doing that.

First, I encountered Kevin, a fellow Morningside student, who was studying on a bench next to one of the main paths on campus. I decided to ask him for a musical recommendation, mainly because there were no paperclips around to be bend. When I approached Kevin and asked him what song he would really want me to listen to, he reacted a little surprised and did not know what to say right away. After I explained it was for a class and not just a random question, Kevin opened up a little bit and told me that I should definitely listen to “Give it all” by Rise Against, a rock band. When I asked him if Rock is his favorite music genre, he replied: “Yes, I listen mostly to rock and punk.”

Happy that I found such a good musical recommendation, I proceeded to walk to the Lincoln Center, in hopes of acquiring a creatively bend paper clip. When I arrived at the building I first visited the business office administrator to acquire a paper clip. I then found Jason Hahlbeck, who was studying at one of the tables in the lobby and asked him to bend the paper clip. The result was a cool looking knot-ish object, shown below, that describes his “brain after a business law class.”

viral threats

The Vox article “The next global pandemic could kill millions of us. Experts say we’re really not prepared.” shines a light on a report conducted by the Independent Preparedness Monitoring Board, which states that there is a growing threat of a global pandemic of disease and that the world is overall ill-prepared to prevent or stop such a pandemic.

The report states multiple reasons for this state of unpreparedness, for example many of the things that make our lives easier on a daily basis like the ease of global travel would actually help to spread a disease around around the globe in the matter of hours. Paired with emerging social trends like not vaccinating children, these factors create a threat of global pandemics that could kill millions, according to the article.

The article is aimed at people that are unaware of the threat that pandemics pose to the world and does a good job informing about that threat and the basic concepts of diseases and how they spread.

The author does a decent job at staying objective but falls into subjectivity when talking about the severity of the threat and the wisdom of the report, which shows some preoccupancy of the author. This is understandable, given the seriousness of the matter, but takes away some of the validity of the article.

The case of Antonio​ brown final

 After months of controversies and antics, Antonia Brown was released by the Raiders and signed with the Patriots over the weekend. 

Ever since he started training camp with the Raiders, there always seemed to be something going on with Antonio “AB” Brown. First, a cryotherapy visit gone wrong left the star wide receiver with blistered feet that didn’t allow him to practice for most of training camp. 

Then, just when his feet seemed to get better, the NFL banned his decade-old helmet and AB did not seem to be willing to play in any other helmet than the one he’s always played in. Many fans got mad and did not understand why AB would not just get a different helmet and move on, the newer helmets have to be better and safer after all? 

As Nate Jackson wrote for Deadspin, no helmet on the market is so safe that it can actually completely rule out concussions for the player wearing it and Antonio Brown “is a finely tuned instrument. Throw off one key and the whole thing gets retuned. Who knows if it ever sounds the same again?”.

Brown finally decided to wear a newer helmet, which came with a hefty new endorsement deal with the company Xenith and started practicing. Fans thought he finally settled in with the raiders and is ready to chase a Super Bowl.

But the drama continued. Last week, it was reported that Brown and the Raiders’ general manager Mike Mayock had an altercation which was, according to the Washington post, over the fact that “ Brown had been fined by the team for unexcused practice absences and posted a picture of the fine letter on social media, voicing his displeasure.” and the Raiders were planning to suspend or even release their superstar pass catcher. Towards the end of the week the problem seemed solved when Antonio Brown apologized to the team and Raiders quarterback Dereck Carr told NBCNews that the team was “all excited to move forward.”

Finally, this weekend the Antonio Brown saga with the Raiders finally came to a finale. After asking the team to release him via Instagram post and getting released shortly after, Brown posted a controversial video on YouTube that showed him celebrating being released. That did not scare off the New England Patriots, who signed Antonio Brown only hours after his release. 

Only time will tell if the Patriots, who are known to not be scared by difficult personalities, have made the right move by acquiring Antonio Brown but their receiver corps is definitely one of the best in the league now and it would not be the first time that signing a drama-heavy talent like AB worked out for them in the long run. 

Immigration on hold at the border

The Vox article ” The Supreme Court just let Trump close the Mexican border to nearly all migrants seeking asylum.” sheds light on a Supreme Court order delivered on Wednesday, essentially closing the border to all migrants by halting immigration applications and requiring immigrants to first apply for immigration in the countries they came through before.

This decision reverses year of asylum practices, where any person who currently is in the U.S. or arrives in the U.S. would be allowed to seek asylum in order to protect themselves from persecution in their home countries. It also did not follow the usual practice of letting a decision made by the executive branch be presented to the public for comments before taken in effect, which has not happened with this order.

The article is well written and explains the matter at hand as well as the consequences for migrants at the southern border, especially for a younger, politically engaged audience. The author also does a good job of telegraphing the seriousness of the matter without being losing objectivity.

Soccer Politics

Deadspin’s article “MLS Escalates Dumb Fan Feud, Suspends Portland Timbers Supporters For Waving Iron Front Banners” brings light to the fact that the MLS has banned part of the Portland Timbers’ ultra group “Timber Army” for violating the MLS policy which outlaws any kind of political banners during MLS games by flying a flag displaying the sign of the 1930s anti-nazi movement from Germany called Iron Front.

This ban caused nationwide protests and push back from the MLS fan scene, arguing that displaying anti-racist and anti-fascist sign should not be considered political. I think this article is newsworthy because it shows a fundamental dilemma that the MLS has. In order to make the league as marketable as possible, the MLS does not allow political signage in their games but like most other soccer fan scenes across the globe, ultra groups of MLS teams are politically engaged and use the stands as a platform to show their stance against racism and fascism. The league’s attempt to not offend anybody led to most of their current fans being outraged and might hurt the attendance of their games.

This article was aimed at sports fans in general and the informal style of writing and reporting makes it accessible for most age groups but also makes the article appear less valid. Overall, the author stays objective but gets caught criticizing the MLS inputs of the article. He describes the situation and problem at hand well and does a good job showing what consequences this band might have. A little less subjectivity would give this article even more validity.

Methane madness

An article in the New York Times, called “E.P.A. to Roll Back Regulations on Methane, a Potent Greenhouse Gas” talks about efforts made by the Environmental Protection Agency to deregulate the emission of methane gases, which is a known greenhouse gas coming from oil wells, pipelines and other facilities in the oil and gas industry. In the light of all the awareness brought to climate change and environmental problems, this article seemed very newsworthy to me, as it shows that the US continues to reduce their efforts to combat climate change, while most of the world is trying to up their efforts.

The article does a good job staying objective and presents the facts of the matter as well as quoting both sources supporting the role back as well as sources condemning it. It also briefly talks about the role of oil and gas companies in this issue and states that most of those companies actually do not support the rollback. This is an interesting aspect in my opinion since the rollback on methane regulations is a result of Trump’s executive order to eliminate regulations that hold back growth in those oil and gas industries.

The high volume of information and lengthy nature of the article aims at an older audience that has enough interest and prior knowledge to value all the extra information.

Link to the article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/29/climate/epa-methane-greenhouse-gas.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Introducing Ashley Boer

During our last class period, I was able to sit down with my classmate Ashley Boer and ask her a couple of questions in order to get to know her better.

Ashley is from Rock Rapids, Iowa, which is approximately one hour and 15 minutes away from Sioux City. She found her way to Morningside to play Volleyball and pursue an Advertising degree with a graphic design minor. She also said that she came to Morningside because “it felt like home”.

Ashley enjoys hanging out with friends, listening to music and watching all kinds of sports when she is not on the court herself. When asked what three things she likes best about Sioux City, she was quick to respond that she likes the food options here, especially Buffalo Wild Wings, the size of the city which she described as “Not too big and not too small” and the close proximity to home, which allows her to see friends and family often.

HONG Kong’S QUEST TO KEEP IT’S FREEDOM

An interesting news story on Vox, called “9 Questions about the Hong Kong protests you were too embarrassed to ask” gives insight into the protests and demonstrations in that emerged in Hong Kong during the last months, sparked by the proposal of an extradition law, allowing foreign governments to extradite Hong Kong citizens without a formal treaty with the city, as well as growing Chinese influence on the city and its election system. This story is very newsworthy in my opinion because it provides a timeline and information about protests for freedom and democracy that the American public has not heard much about, and shows that not only Americans are currently struggling with their governments and for their rights.

This article is aimed at a younger, politically interested audience, that doesn’t know much about the subject.  It uses simple language with little political jargon and makes sure that everybody can understand the inner workings of these protests by providing basic information about why Hongkongers are protesting and background about the city and its unique situation within China itself. The format of asking nine questions and answering them one by one makes the story more engaging and easier to follow for younger people. The author does a good job of presenting the facts about the timeline and background of the protests in an objective way until the very last question, where the author somewhat condemns western countries for taking a weak stance against police brutality and violence against the protesters as well as offering little support.

Overall, this article was very informative and gave a very thorough insight into the situation, especially for readers who were not well aware of the protests. It also gave some commentary on how western countries should act towards this problem without becoming too subjective.

Link to the story: https://www.vox.com/world/2019/8/22/20804294/hong-kong-protests-9-questions

News from my World(s)