Technology Taking Over… Literally.

When someone asks you what you do in your free time, my guess is for most people watching movies and reading books would be included in your answer. Growing up I’ve routinely been a Blockbuster customer. The adventure of going to Blockbuster every Friday night with my parents to rent a movie I had all ready watched a thousand times was the highlight of my weekend. The addition of Netflix, Redbox, and now Blockbuster kiosks are literally putting video companies out of business. The initial owners of Blockbuster were forced to file bankruptcy on Feb. 22, 2011 and later sold it’s shares in the amount of $290 million on April 20, 2011. This comes as no surprise to me. Even though I grew up being a regular customer of Blockbuster, the simpleness behind the creation of Netflix and kiosks at hand all around town, makes taking time to actually go to a video store pointless. America is a lazy nation as a whole. If we have the option of sitting on our couch and easily clicking a remote and ordering a movie in a matter of three minutes, why would we ever want to take the time to get up, drive to the store, look around and wait in line just to rent a movie you later have to return on time to not have to face penalties of paying late fees. Netflix usually runs about $7.99 a month with unlimited movies being streamed on your television at home on your own time. Redbox is taking over the video rental industry by storm since the year 2005, reaching over 25,000 kiosks and worth $271 million. With rentals at a price of only a buck a night, why wouldn’t you choose this option?

Book stores are also facing these same struggles with the rise of technology over the past couple years. The invention of technologies such as the iPad and the Nook, are taking the nation by storm, and literally getting rid of the need for a paperback book. The Nook is priced at only $249 with the ability of downloading over two million titles with the swipe of your finger. The iPad is the more glamorous, expensive option, priced at $499. This ‘giant iPhone is literally a small size computer on the go. The capability of downloading hundreds of thousands of apps on just about anything, makes this reading option a winner in my book. The issue Barnes and Noble faces is an on-going competition with Amazon’s Kindle reader. Barnes and Noble launched it’s Nook reader too late, critics say. Barnes and Noble put itself up for sale in August 2011.

The advancement and rise of technology constantly on the go, may be depressing to some. What if video stores become extinct in a matter of five years? What if paperback books are no longer available to purchase in 10 years? For some, this would be devastating. Future generations, as well as my own, will continue to jump on board with what new and exciting technologies are offered to support our overall laziness as a whole. I can’t complain, I’m dollar rental movie, iPad reading lover.

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School Online

Education courses of all kinds are rapidly growing. Online courses are being offered in almost everything nowadays. Whether you are a sixth grader living at home with your parents, or a graduate student at a big time university, chances are there is a wide variety of options for taking courses online.As this trend begins to spread like wild fire, many question how effective online courses truly are? Are these students learning the required material, or taking the easy way out and even utilizing cheating often?

My opinion on this subject could go either way. I do not agree with schooling being offered from grades K- 12 is as useful as a classroom structure and one-on-one learning styles. Kids of a young age need to grow up in a classroom type structure because they are so young, they need to be under control and be taught by an actual instructor. In my opinion, getting a high school degree online is pointless and the lazy way out. I see the need and helpfulness of online courses being offered to college students and through some degree programs. There are some college courses that are simply more useful to be given online, rather than wasting time and gas money to make it to campus daily.

Although I do not agree online degrees should be offered to children in grades K-12, I do see the helpfulness and how approachable the idea of furthering your education by getting a masters degree while you are a person with a career and busy lifestyle all ready. Researching some on this topic has been inspiring to look at other options for my own education after receiving a bachelor’s degree. There is so much opportunity for growth today.

College Lifestyles

While I have been a student at Oklahoma State University, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a wide variety of fellow classmates and eventually was able to claim them as friends. Two friends of mine specifically, Tracy Moore and Emily Caine, I thought would be great to interview and compare their day to day lives, as well as their studying habits. Hope you enjoy this video with a humorous aspect behind the crazy differences in college lifestyles.

How much are your pearly whites really worth?

I’ve personally been interested in all aspects of dental work ever since I was a ‘braceface’ a few years ago. I remember my first visit to my orthodontic’s office, I was truly amazed by what is at reach for our generation and also for what’s to come. My aunt has also worked at a dentist’s office for a number of years, so i feel as if this subject about straight white teeth gets brought up quite a bit. I’ve caught onto the fact that there is a never ending number of options to have a perfect smile, but I’ve never looked deep into the options.

Here are the different options for braces that I could find are available in the Oklahoma area alone. One of the more popular versions of braces is the Invisalign brand. This option is marketed to be ‘clear’ and unseen. I wouldn’t be a fan of having this option because they aren’t truly clear, have to be changed pretty often, and have to be removed to eat and drink everyday. The cost of Invisalign can range anywhere from $3,500- $8,000, pretty expensive compared to other alternatives. The second option for teeth straightening is lingual braces, also known as traditional braces. There is an alternative to even traditional braces today though, putting the traditional braces on the back of your teeth so that they are completely unseen. I wish this option would have been available when I had braces to make things more simple and experience less pain and not much more costly as the regular option. There is ceramic or ‘tooth colored’ braces today as well. This option isn’t as popular as others, but still better than traditional braces letting metal take over your entire mouth. And last but not least, the option of expensive veneers is available today. This option is definitely the most expensive but in my opinion has the most perks. You go in to the dentist’s office for a day and come out with straight, white teeth that will be your’s forever.

So, regardless of what type of person you are, what income you receive, what type of pain you’re willing to experience, or what time frame you are wanting, there is an option out there for every one to have those straight pearly whites every one loves.

Addicted to Social Networking

I did a little research on addiction to electronics, basically searching through YouTube videos. I came upon one that definitely  can relate to just about anyone in our generation titled “What is Facebook Addiction?.” This video was a more humerous take on the aspects behind what a true addiction to Facebook can mean. I think the video is more appealing to at least my age group because we tend to pay more attention to something that is out of the box and funny, rather than something that’s straight to the point and serious.

The editing behind the video is generally pretty good. The director of this video saw the need for an almost childish aspect to the video, which is why he encorporated the use of puppets rather than interviewing people for this video. Some of the angles they use are catchy and different. One of them I liked in particular was the part of the video they are zooming in on the screen, but have the puppet on the computer but his image is blurred out. I think that is a great shot because you can see two different primary things to pay attention to, but clearing the computer screen and not the puppet’s image makes the shot that much more appealing. The way they set up the background and setting of the complete image of a business type of scenary gives the video the right type of appeal.

The storyline behind this video could have been more clear in some ways in my opinion. They kind of jump from subject to subject in an unorganized matter. The use of a foreign accent is also catchy in my opinion, makes the video a bit more interesting and keeps the video simple and not serious. Overall, I think this video is a great one to get the director’s point across in a humerous way about what Facebook is and how our generation is becoming more and more obsessed with social networking.

Kiko’s Hookah Lounge

I have another class assignment to share with you all. Shawn Hunter, Brandon Wilken and myself were assigned to interview a subject and make a soundslide with ambient sound. So elements of photography, interviewing, ambient sound and editing with garageband was involved to complete this assignment. We interviewed Isabelle, the manager at the local hookah bar here in Stillwater, Okla., Kiko’s Hookah Lounge. She showed us the process behind how the hookah works, different aspects of flavors and chemicals in an actual hookah itself, as well as what this specific hookah bar offers to the great college town of Stillwater, Okla. Hope you all enjoy!

Power of something as simple as… wind

The fact that our generation needs to jump on the ‘go green’ effect isn’t a secret to anyone. When most people think about living a healthier life through keeping a clean environment, as Americans and most specifically people of redneck Oklahoma, we assume there is a lot of work that has to be put into living in such a way. I’ve come across a few products that are as easy as breathing air and help from wasting energy when it’s not needed.

The first product I came upon can be utilized by almost everyone. Dare to disagree? Well if you own a cell phone and live on planet Earth where there is wind, this product can be made available to you. The Aero E Wind Power cell phone charger simply looks awesome enough to convince someone like myself to purchase one. The genius behind this product is so tricky, but yet so simple. The power of wind charges your phone, literally. The kit comes with two separate pieces, one piece is the actual miniature wind turbine that you hook up onto any window that is capable of reaching wind, and also the charging pad that uses induction taking the energy from the wind of the turbine creating energy and directly taking that energy from the charging pad to your cell phone. I don’t know why someone hasn’t thought of such a product before! So simple and yet saves so much energy. My only negative view on this product was if it’s not windy outside does that mean you wouldn’t be able to use the product? The Aero E Wind charger even has that covered, once the energy is taken from the wind, the energy  can be stored to be used at anytime; this meaning you can still decide when you want to charge your phone!

Stumbling upon this product makes me  start to question what other daily electronics could be powered by the same effect of something so simple as wind. Your plasma TV?  Your hair dryer? If you really think about it most electronics that we say we could not live without can be powered by our own clean form of energy. I don’t consider myself to be all about the ‘go green’ lifestyle and products, but when inventors are making products so simple and easy to use that are not hindering my daily lifestyle in anyway, why wouldn’t I wanna use them?  What’s stopping me? You should ask yourself the same question. Saving energy and money on electric bills, doesn’t get much better than that.