Wednesday, May 03, 2006


For all the people who are looking at this blog expecting to see me spew out my complete life of bullshit complaining about school and my love life, I'm sorry, turn away. This is for my Telecom-101 class. Yes, this is for a class, yipee. Anyway, I was looking at other peoples' blogs and mine is completely different. Am I screwing up? Am I making terrible points? I don't know shit about this class, honestly, I thought it was going to be the one about films or TV...I was wrong. I don't know anything about "information" or the "information age." I can't tell you why video-games control children's lives or how the media is affecting politics...becuase this isn't my bag, homie. I'm an english major, this is fulfilling a requirement. I don't mean to complain, but we're treated like we're informatics majors in this class. I am not that at all. I don't even know what informatics is, im surprised I can spell it. So, I'm sorry if this is not what is required, or what is wanted, but this is what I've got to bring to the table. It may not be a lot, but at least it'll tide us over for a little bit. I love you, Thom (my teacher) and enjoy what I've got.

The oscars: Brokeback vs. Crash

In the IDS a while back there was an article about how "Crash" shouldn't have won the Oscar for best movie, but that "Brokeback Mountain" should have. The article complained about how the academy was taking the easy way out because it didn't want to seem too liberal by choosing a movie about gay cowboys as best picture. I think that's total bullshit. I mean, for the people who saw "Brokeback Mountain" and thought that it deserved best picture, I agree with you, it was completely Oscar worthy. But for the people who think that the first reason was the only reason why it didn't win, then I disagree with you. It isn't because the academy was taking the easy way out, "Crash" deserved it more so. The writing was better, the cinematography was better, the diversity of the actors was better. Now, don't pull the "But they had to make out on camera!" bit on me, becuase, yeah so what? They did, but news flash, it's their job. I'm not saying their acting wasn't good, because it was, fabulous actually, but the acting in "Crash" out did it. Ryan Phillipe came out of the wood work on this one, and Terrance Howard, I mean, come on, Terrance fucking Howard.
And the script. Again, I'm not saying "Brokeback" wasn't well written, the line "I just don't know how to quit you" is amazing. But, in order for a movie to win the title of Best Picture, it has to be good in more than just one area. This is where "Crash" excelled. The writing for the different characters (and if you've seen the movie, that's a fuck load of characters) was so unique and true to each that it rolled over the screenplay for "Brokeback Mountain" numerous times. After awhile the writing seemed to slack a little and got a little monotonous. As did that song. That one with the It's stuck in my head. But in "Crash" the tempo never dropped, once the movie hit its climax, which was late on in the film, it just dropped. It kept rising at an unbelievable rate and then hit the peak. Which, I understand, is supposed to happen, but this kept you sliding forward in your chair.
Which did I like better? "Crash." Do I think it deserved best picture? Yes. Do I think that the reason why "Brokeback Mountain" didn't win is becuase the academy is filled with liberals not wanting to be shit on? No. I don't. I'm sorry if you disagree, but I mean, "Capote" didn't win either, so fuck off.

A World of Fear: Identity Theft

Now, I don't know much about how a person steals one's identity, but I do know one thing...with all the hype about it and the saftey precautions that my dad goes to, it scares the living hell out of me. I don't know what to not throw away, I don't know what to rip up when I throw it away. I don't know much of anything, and that's what scares me the most. My dad just recently bought a paper shredder with a CD shredder built in. Now, I don't know much as I said, but that's crazy. The fact that people have to go to the extent of shredding CD's to cover up their identity scares me even more. Why should we have to go to as great of an extent as we have to? I just think that there should be a better system for people. It shouldn't be so easy.
How do we go about doing that? Now, I can't really give a good way to because as I said, I don't know much about it, but maybe there could be a more secure system to online buying through ebay and other online stores. I know that it has to be specific to make sure that the purchase is actually going to the person who it is billed to, but there could be a more secure way to make sure. Security passwords are a good idea, but they can only go so far. Most passwords are figured out and then people have to go and change it causing them to change other passwords if they're the same, or creating a new account in general.
I don't take the precautions that I should but maybe I should start doing that. But the people of the world shouldn't have to live in fear of this happening to them just becuase they weren't careful enough.

Internet Pornography, Friend or Foe?

I was thinking about how Internet pornogrpahy is such a fad among teens and middle aged men, but what about the younger teens and the ones even younger than that? It's a large role in some people's lives and it's so easily accesable to each of them that it makes me wonder about how much control do parent have? I mean, sure there's the parental control settings on AOL, but there are ways to get around that and still find pictures or videos that fit some criteria or pornography. It may not be what the certain child or children are looking for, but it would be something.
I did a little research on and I turned the family filters on and saw how much it would give me if I typed in a risque subject. didn't give me much at all, it just told me to try a different search name becuase the one I tried was blocked. is a different story. I typed in some search word like "boobs" or "porn" and it brought me to a page where it asked me if I wanted to change the seetings, or see the requested search without the adult content. When I chose the latter of the two, it took me to my search results where there were many risque pictures, but nothing that showed any nudity.
That is just the way children can get around the blocks that their parents put on the websites. By going to a different website and searching the same thing that couldn't be found on another website, they can easily find what they're looking for or something close to it. And in fact, not everything is blocked. There are plenty of websites, like certain blogs, that have "top pics of the week" or something close to that where no "Family Filter" can block it.
Why, if things are as safe as companies make them out to be, do kids still have the ability to search and eventually find some form of pornography?
There should be more of a strict poilcy on what can be seen on these certain web sites. There should be a more thurough search on what web sites have to offer. I feel that what kids can see on the sites, although doesn't give them as much as a regular search would, is still too much. With the technologies improving every day and children growing up around these improving technologies, they are getting more advanced in that field than most adults. They can find their way through cyber space and find what they are looking for without even flinching, when it seems like most adults are fascinated by what their children can do with a bunch of keys and a monitor.


There are so many ways to communicate with people in today's world. There's the phone, e-mail, instant messaging, regular mail, text messaging, web cameras...there are probably more, but those are the main ones. I mean, in today's world, where would we be without the different ways of communication that there are? I, and millions of other people in the world rely on our cell phones to get us through the day. I keep mine in my pocket throughout the day and it's always on 24/7. I need it for the time (it's become my new watch), I need it so people can contact me and so I can contact them, and most importantly, it's so I don't miss anything. People can always call me to tell me whats going on, and I can always call them to figure out what's going on no matter the situation. But am I relying too heavily on my cell phone? Is the world relying too heavily communication? If there's ever a break in communication, if the power lines are down, or the lines are busy don't people tend to go into a state of minor chaos? Like the world is over because they can't check their e-mail or call someone for any reason? It seems that way. I tend to go into that state myself. It's either that, or some people just cave up and don't do anything becuase they have nothing to do.
The world relys on talking to people somehow, no matter how far away the person is. A person down the hall of a dorm room can call another person to see where they are without getting, a person could instant message his or her neighbor to tell them to keep the noise down. There are so many ways to communicate that people are using them to take the easy way out and not going to talk to people in person.
Maybe the world is relying too much on technology and not communication. They're using technology to communicate, so it's the technology that people are relying on. If technology keeps advancing the way that it has been, where will the world be then? I can imagine a world where people don't go to a specific place to conduct work, but the work comes to them. They can have meetings with numerous computer monitors in front of them. They can send files with the click of a button and talk about them at the same time. There would be no use for an office when everything can be done in the privacy of your own home. I fear that the new technology will turn everyone into people who don't communicate with anyone unless they're out for a reason and that they would rely too much on technology that they'd expect it to advance to a state where it does common things for them. Like the Jetsons. They have a robot maid, a booth that changes, feeds, bathes, and brushes their teeth. This is what I fear will be the next step of advancement for technology, and that this is what people are hoping for.

The Internet, baby (Continued)

I just remembered that another way the people who create certain web pages allow advertisng that is completely made for your participation. What ever happened to the good old days of standard banners and non-moving ads? Now, you go to any website and theres a picture of George W. Bush hunting or lifting weights against Saddam Hussein and the thing is, it's asking you to participate. You are the one who has to click really fast in order to get the most reps, or you have to shoot the deer as they run by. Advertising is becoming interactive. Just like the commercials during the Superbowl, they're fun and entertaining, something you think is normally provided by the show itself or the web page you're visiting, but now the tables have turned and the advertising is taking control of your mouse and keeping you from leaving the room to pop popcorn. All advertising needs to do is catch peoples' attention in order for them to give them a chance, but it seems like the times are changing and people are expecting more from companies so that they give them that chance.

The Internet, baby.

So, after the presentation in class about Internet addiction, it made me think about how I was. I didn't raise my hand when they asked if anyone thought they had one, mainy because I didn't. But, now, I'm thinking about what I do all day, and most of it revolves around what I do online. It's good for procrastinating and for filling times of boredom. Honestly, what I do online is so boring to begin with, but it still wastes time for me. I come back from class knowing that I have to write a paper or do webwork, but I end up just sitting at my computer doing nothing online for two hours. Facebook, e-mail, Facebook, Facebook, e-mail. Luckly I don't have a MySpace account or God knows what else I'd be doing. I don't even accomplish anything at all.
That makes me think about people who have serious Internet addictions. How long do they spend on the Internet a day? It's got to be an incredible amount. Especially the people that play those other online world games. The people who play normal video games play enough as it is, so I can only imagine how much these people play. But just plain Internet addictions is another story. How much is there really to do on the Internet besides what a person does normally or play video games? My guess is that there's plenty and I don't know about all of it. Sometimes when I'm bored with nothing to do and my Facebook and e-mail accounts have been worn thin, I search on Google or Altavista for cool pictures of bands I like or research people that I have always wanted to learn about. But that's as far as an extent as I go. For other people, I can see searching random topics in Google to see what appears, or just following links on web sites to see where they lead to.
That's another thing. The web pages now-a-days have so many links to other web sites that it's almost as if the people that create them want you to look further into what it's connected to. This may be a factor to Internet addiction. If something that you're looking at leads to different places, and you follow those links as far as they go, then you're being forced to stay online for as long as possible without even being aware of it. I think this is a plan by the web designers in the world is that they want you to go as far into the Internet as possible with their web site as the root. And maybe it even comes full circle so that you're back from where you started, their web page. I just think that the web pages on the Internet make it easy for people to become addicted. They're entertaining and they lead to other places which may be even more entertaining.

Monday, May 01, 2006


I'm not a big fan of sports, but I am a big fan of movies and how they are made. So when I see a camera angle that is new to me I try to figure out what went into getting that shot. For instance, in my favorite movie "Requiem for a Dream" there is a shot of one of the main characters cleaning her entire apartment in what seemed to be fast-forward almost. I was curious how they went about getting that shot, so I watched the special features. They used a camera called a "MILO." I've forgotten what the letters stand for but it's 7 feet tall and moves horizontally and inch per second. The shot itself was thirty minutes long, which made the length that the MILO was going to travel at a whopping 150 feet. When sped up this thirty minute shot was more like 25 seconds in the movie and didn't get as much respect as the other cinematography in the film.
Back to sports. One thing that we've been discussing in class and I've been becoming more apparent of in sporting events, is that camera shots are not only evolving, but they're getting more insane. First came that overhead camera that spun around 360 degrees during football games, then there was the camera in the umpire/catcher's masks in baseball. But before that, was the XFL. Didn't that die out quickly? It is apparent that sport broadcasts are seeming more and more like video games everyday. With the scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen and the scores on the sides and at the tops. And if you compare that to Madden 2006, it is almost identical in a sick kind of way.
Speaking of Madden 2006, I was flipping the channels at like 2:30am a couple of nights ago and I saw that there was a Madden 2006 competition on ESPN, maybe it was ESPN 2, but what do I know? And these players were competing for $100,000! It was crazy. And if that wasn't crazy enough, the final game was played on one of the Jumbo-Trons in Times Square. These players obviously like football, and if they didn't and their only knowledge was of the actual game, then props to them, becuase they knew what they were talking about. It seems like this video game was almost more of a competition than the Superbowl. I mean, it is individuals playing for one hundred grand, and not a team playing for a trophy, but still it seemed like the stakes were higher. Like the rank of being #1 in the country at a video game is better than being the #1 football team.
Back to the XFL for a minute. With all of this talk about video games, I think that maybe the XFL was too much like a video game and society couldnt handle it. In video games you call the shots on what play to do and who to throw it to, but in football you don't. In the XFL the huddles were mic'd so you knew the play that was going to happen and you knew what to expect. That was probably the main reason for its demise. Although people like being in control of the video games, they still like the aspect where they didn't know what to expect.

Hot or Not

So, I recently saw that my friends roommate was on Hot or not. "What a stupid thing to do" I thought. Putting your face out on the internet to get rated by people who don't even know you. But then I thought back to class when we were talking about how 40 year olds stalk little kids, and how gamers use a girl profile to get certain items, and I thought, I think that he might use that to get sex. LIGHTBULB! His roommate, a friend of mine, and myself all went in on creating a fake account so that he would think that this girl is actually interested in him.
So we did.
We used a picture from, all we had to type in "hot girl" and turn the "Family Filter" on and we got the best looking girls on the internet, no rating required. We looked for one that looked very homemade so that it would fly on Hot or Not becuase we saw some that we didn't buy at all. After about three minutes of looking we found one that fit everything we wanted. We then created a back-story. (Her name is Veronica E. Singer, and she's 19 years old. She's originally from Louisville, KY then moved to South Barrington, IL on account of her dad's job. She has a 12 year old sister named Stephanie. She goes to Notre Dame and is studying Secondary Education. And of course she's not a virgin) It was a lot to think up, but it was worth it in the end, keep reading.
Anyway, we tried to make a Hot or Not account, but it wouldn't let us without an E-mail account. So, with that we went to and made a fake E-mail address. Then we were on. Just a little searching and we basically said "Want to meet me?" He clicked yes, and one day later we got an E-mail from him. We shared a little bit about her to him and he did the same. This continued on until Little 500 week where we told him that she was coming down for the weekend. He said he wanted to hang out and get drunk with her and invited her back to his room for a "post-party." So that weekend, my friend who was also in on it got a girl to call him and told him that she was coming up to Read to say "hi." I was in the room when he talked on the phone with her, and after they hung up, he loaded on the cologne. My friend who got the girl to call him dressed up in some girl's clothes and began the high-heeled treck down the hall. "Hello?!" he yelled out when he was outside the door. He came running out of his room to say hi only to see that it was my friend holding a picture of Veronica.
Of course, we had a good laugh and an even better time explaining it to him and how thurough we were. It was a good April 1st.
But seriously, it's amazing how we got away with all that. She is currently still on Hot or Not racking up the scores (she's a 9.8). How is anyone safe in this world when a guy like me could be a 19 year old girl from Notre Dame. It's scary to think of what else we could have done and it's scarrier to think about what other people could be doing to me or other people. There should be some sort of screening process, but how could any site pull that off without invasion of privacy?
I mean, I personally think that the sex offender's website is a good idea. Just letting people know who they are and where is a big comfort to some people. But with online chatting, there's no way to tell how old another person is unless they're not lying, but that's not reliable at all. Is it possible if there were accounts that asked for more personal information without breeching any rights, just to make sure that the person is what they say they are? I just think that the internet is so unsafe sometimes, and that something could be done about it if there was a good concrete idea to be set in place.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


So, I was researching Benjamin Compaine for class, and I clicked on one of the pages that Google recommended to me, and it turned out that the page was his Blooger page. I recognized the format instantly. I found it funny that a person that we, in my T101 class Living in the Information Age, are studying, happens to be a member of something that is 30% of our grade.
His blog was alright. I mean, it focused mainly on his views of the media and his books, but I really, who wouldn't focus it on that if they were him? He has some interesting views on how media affects our lives, but I must say, I think that McChesney has more interesting views. How he views media as the most important of our lives, but at the same time, it is the most misunderstood part of our lives is so intriguing. It rings so true, because I believe that I understand most of what the Internet has to offer, but really, how much do I understand? 2-3%? The way I get my information and the way media interacts with my everyday life, it seems much greater than it actually is. There is much more that I need to understand before I make my own assumptions about the internet or media, people like Compaine and McChesney are way ahead of me, but hey, I have a blog and Compaine has a blog, so I guess we're on the same level in some sort. Right?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


It's amazing how many people only watch the superbowl becuase of the commercials. My friend and I were discussing the impact that recognizable images have on people and how advertising has embraced that. For instance, when the clydesdales came on the television, someone behind us said "Budwiser" right as the commercial began. This just shows how media has branded itself in people's brains and this is exactly what they want to happen. We got a little more serious about it and asked people on our floor which they watch the superbowl for, the commerciasls or the actual gams. If our calculations were correct, more than sixty percent of the floor watched the superbowl just for the commerials, and I happen to live on a floor dominated by sports enthusiasts. I know that I'm one of the sixty plus percent, but then again, I don't like sports, so there you go.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I was watching TV the other day and one of those Guinness commercials came on advertising the beer. It was opne with the two 2-D men with strong accents that say "Brilliant!" all the time. The main focus of this commercial was the "Bloopers" of the two men as if they were real. At the end of the dumb montage, the V.O. said, "To see more bloopers, visit" It asks for your birthdate, and because I am not of age, I was not permitted. However, with a push of the "back" button and a change of the date 3 years, I was in! So, I followed the links to the "Bloopers" page, where aside from seeing only one of the bloopers on a small video screen, I had to register to see the rest of them which requires your e-mail address and a password. Not wanting to do that, I gave up on my mission to view the rest of the bloopers and returned to watching "Next" on MTV. Quite an adventure.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Talk about wanting all of your information. I wanted tickets to see the Icelandic band Sigur Ros on February 20, but it took not only the basics, address, phone number, and credit card number, but when I called because the tickets were not delivered in the amount of time that they said it would take, they told me to check online to track my purchase. They wanted me to do something that I had already done, but they kept telling me over and over to check online. They did not tell me exactly how to go about tracking my order online; all they said was to do it. I guess that means that they were leading me to more information to get lost in. Just wander about in the Ticketmaster wilderness only to et lost in the comedy section of the website to see that Jerry Seinfeld is coming to Indianapolis and end up buying tickets to see him only to have a problem with the delivery of those tickets forcing me to go through the whole ordeal again.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My First Post.

After days of confusion on what I was doing wrong, I got Tony from my class to help me. It turns out that I wasn't doing anything wrong to begin with. Shows how much I actually know about technology. Well, this is the first of many. Have fun.