Archive for April, 2011

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.