Letter to Mark Dayton

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Dear Governor Dayton,

Requiring all voters in the State of Minnesota to show photo identification is something that would help legitimize the voting process in our state. The clean voting record in Minnesota is refreshing when compared to the controversies that have arisen in other states. Pushing for the Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment will help secure honesty and legitimacy at Minnesota polls in the future.

Minnesota residents who are able to vote should have no problem presenting photo identification at the polls. We are often forced to show photo identification when making purchases with credit cards, buying alcohol, and boarding planes. The political importance of today's America validates the need to also show photo identification when we vote. Banning voters who lack valid photo identification helps prevent fraud at the polls and only allows politically informed individuals to vote. This amendment will help preserve Minnesota's honest poll history, and ensure that our future holds the same.

I am discouraged to find that you recently vetoed this amendment, and I would appreciate hearing back from you regarding your stance on this controversial issue. As governor of our state, I highly regard your political opinion.

Heritable Intelligence

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If intelligence was found to be heritable it would have drastic effects on our society. In the first place, people with parents who weren't intelligent would lack motivation and self-esteem. The simple knowledge that you were unintelligent would cause people to lose the will power to work hard and achieve goals. Secondly, policies would be formed that emphasized the demand for intelligent versus unintelligent people. Businesses that hired people would first look at the intelligence of a candidate's parents and so on. People would essentially be labeled and told what they could or couldn't do from the moment they were born. The nurture debate would most likely be disregarded in the process; instead people would be labeled as geniuses based on the intelligence levels of the parents. Social classes would become much more divided, with the lower class becoming even more separated from the intelligent upper class. In conclusion, a person's worth would be predetermined based on the achievements of their parents.

Fake Product Reviews

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I believe that it's extremely unethical to accept payment for posting false user reviews. What I found even more disgusting was the action of clients posting positive reviews of their own products under the names of different people. In the future, I will be much more skeptical when viewing user reviews on popular product websites. There is just no way of knowing whether or not the people posting them have been paid do to so.

Nevertheless, this kind of behavior seems like it will be tough to monitor. How can you tell if someone has actually used the product and is being honest about it? Additionally, since user reviews are being used more and more with the influx of online shopping, I see no end to this user review abuse.

Class Biography

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Born in 1990, Robert Ankeny grew up in a quiet Minneapolis suburb. Inspired by his love of gopher sports, Robert decided to attend the University of Minnesota, where he studies both strategic communications and business management as an undergraduate student. He has gained real world experience from his previous employment, which includes Target, Grandma's Bakery, the Good Day Café, and Lifetime Fitness.

Robert is the first-born son of John and Virginia Ankeny, and loyal brother to Johnny Ankeny. When he has free time he enjoys playing tennis, hockey, and other racquet sports. In addition, he often finds time to read fiction, run marathons, and actively engage in the social media world. Robert is also a contributing member to his local parish - Our Lady of Grace.

A diverse history of occupational experience has helped Robert develop a strong understanding of the importance of maintaining customer relationships and bringing a positive attitude and strong work ethic to the work place everyday. Specifically, his coordinated endeavors with Lifetime Fitness and Toyota Automotive Company yielded impressive sales results in the summer of 2010. Robert's uncanny ability to interpret the needs of prospective customers makes him an invaluable member of any company.

After college, Robert plans to continue his academic career in pursuit of a degree in either marketing or business. From there he plans to work in the competitive field of advertising.

Journalistic Integrity with Mary Divine

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An emotional writer, Mary Divine understands the importance of spending time with the people she interviews. She acknowledges that it takes time for people to open up to a reporter during times when family is their top priority. When I interviewed Mary we discussed her front-page story in the Sunday's Pioneer Press issue that covered the final months of a senior at Stillwater cancer and his battle with a rare form of bone cancer. "I pour my heart into emotional pieces about unfortunate people", said Mary. I wept when I wrote my recent article (on the Stillwater senior)." While she actively tweets in order to connect with her readers outside of the daily paper, Mary acknowledges that there is no substitute for feature length articles in hard copy. "I still write for hard paper. I'm willing to tweet after something happens, but at the end of the day long stories mean the most to me, and that's what people remember."

While now content working for the Pioneer Press newspaper, Mary wrote for a magazine in a short stint after college. However, this job didn't last because the month-long deadlines didn't suit Mary's disposition as a writer. By having pieces due each week at the Pioneer Press, Mary is able to stay focused on her work. In addition, she is able to choose her own stories for each addition of the Sunday paper. She follows the same simple routine of researching a story of her choice, writing a preliminary draft that she shows her editor, and then running with the idea over the course of the week. This routine and her weekly agenda write up have kept Mary busy at the Pioneer Press for over 14 years.

An attachment with her readers and residents of the St. Croix River Valley area are what continue to inspire Mary on a daily basis. The same people who read Mary's articles are the ones she writes about and approaches for interviews. She prides herself in being able to convey their opinions on controversial issues, while withholding her own. This standard of journalism is something that she brought with her from the St. Joseph News Press in Missouri and that continues to help her construct unbiased stories. Mary has been covering different elements of the Stillwater bridge collapse since she began working at the Pioneer Press. After 14 years of extensive reporting she is proud that her readers are still unsure of where she stands on the issue. Her ability to maintain this high level of journalistic integrity has made her a successful journalist, and a trusted member of the community that she writes about.

TV ads & Taking Action

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The last TV ad that I saw that caused me to take immediate action was the Old Spice commercial featuring Greg Jennings of the Green Bay Packers. It caused me to take immediate action because of three primary reasons. First, I like Greg Jennings as a person and as a football player. He is dominant on the field, and humble off it. He made the stick of Old Spice men's deodorant look 'cool'. Second, the design on the stick of Old Spice men's deodorant was aesthetically pleasing. After seeing the ad, I thought that it would look good on my shelf. Finally, when I saw this ad I was fresh out of deodorant. I was literally on my way out the door to shop for groceries, and after seeing this ad I was reminded of the fact that I needed more deodorant and I decided to pick some up at the grocery store.

It was a good ad because if forced me to think about what I wanted in a deodorant, and why I wanted it. It evoked subconscious decision-making processes in my mind that convinced me to purchase the deodorant at the grocery store.

Bad Noodles

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After recently eating at Noodles & Company, I was disappointed in the quality of my food. I wrote them a letter expressing my discontent with their food. Below is what I said...

Dear Noodles and Company,

I have been periodically eating at your Hamline Avenue North location for the past eight months. I enjoy the items on your menu, the atmosphere inside your store, and the service I receive from your employees. However, on Monday the 19th of November I purchased a bowl of Penne Rosa pasta that failed to meet my high expectations. The mushrooms were undercooked, the tomatoes mushy and possibly rotten, and the noodles undercooked and bland in taste. After taking a few bites of this uncharacteristic dish, I brought it up to the register in order to politely notify the attendant that something was wrong with my Penne Rosa.

The employee at the register who had originally taken my order inspected my Penne Rosa and noted that she had found nothing wrong with it. I told her to look more closely at the sorry state of the mushrooms and tomatoes, but she insisted that nothing was out of the ordinary. When I asked her if I could receive another bowl, she refused and instead lectured me about how many customers complain in the hopes of receiving free food. She then told me that if I didn't like my Penne Rosa I could make it myself at home.

Like I said before, I enjoy eating at Noodles and Company. The food you serve is unique and affordable. My experience last Monday was truly bizarre, because I have always been treated to delicious dishes and excellent service at your Hamline Avenue North location. I simply wanted to inform you of the negative experience I had in order to allow you to improve upon your customer service. I have not yet returned to Noodles and Company after this occurrence, and I have not decided if I should visit another location or stop eating at Noodles and Company altogether. I am disappointed that this has happened, and I hope that the next time I decide to eat at Noodles and Company I will be satisfied with the dining experience.

Fulton Brewery FAQ

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Thought it would be interesting to communicate the uniqueness of a relatively new local brewery in the Minneapolis area - Fulton.

Fulton began as a single-barrel brewery in a South Minneapolis garage in 2006, and in 2010 expanded into a larger brewery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Owned and operated by four friends, Fulton Beer can be found in many bars and eateries around Minneapolis and the surrounding metro area. Additionally, Fulton Beer is available for purchase at the Fulton Tap Room, which is located at their Minneapolis brewing location.

A local company, Fulton strives to produce the highest quality beer time and time again. The essence, craftsmanship and thought put into each bottle of Fulton beer is a reflection of Minneapolis. Fulton's goal is to offer its customers a delicious and locally brewed beer that is one of a kind.

Fulton Brewery produces four different beers: an American Blonde, India Pale Ale, Imperial Red Ale, and Russian Imperial Stout. The most notable beverage of the group is the India Pale Ale (also called the Sweet Child of Vine). Each batch of beer is hand-brewed under the watchful eye of brew master Pete Grande. The ingredients used are the finest from around the Midwest area, and are intended to instill a unique flavor in every drop.

Fulton beers can be purchased at various liquor stores around the metro area, at select bars and restaurants, or at the Fulton Tap Room located in Minneapolis. Additionally, Target Field now serves Fulton beer at select vendor locations. Fulton also produces shirts, hats and glasses which are available on their website.

Comcast Follow-Up

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I recently wrote a fake customer service response to one of my friends who has experienced poor customer service when dealing with Comcast. Below is what I said...

We at Comcast are sorry to hear about the troubles you have experienced with Internet speeds in your home and in your neighborhood. Your satisfaction as a Comcast customer is our top priority, and we are actively investigating the cause of your decreased Internet speed.

After thorough investigation, we found that your slowed Internet connection was the direct cause of government hardware (modem) testing around your neighborhood. We received numerous call notifying us about similar slowed Internet connections, and we hope that the lack of testing will now allow your Internet speeds to climb back to their normal speeds.

Additionally, we are aware that you have experienced difficulties communicating with our Midwest representatives over the phone, and we would like to notify you that this is in part due to the traumatic events that befell the east coast earlier this month. We were forced to relocate many of our telephone maintenance representatives in order to provide extra support to the thousands of Americans who were affected.

In these trying times we ask you to bear with us as we continue to provide relief to those were unfortunate enough to stand in the way of hurricane Sandy. Keep in mind that when natural disasters strike, people lose much more than their Internet connections. Nevertheless, we value your loyalty as a customer and encourage you to continue using Comcast. God Bless America.

Ghost Tweeting

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I think that a company's social media interactions are extremely important. When a company or organization tweets, everyone can see it. In fact, Twitter is one of the best ways that a company/organization can build rapport with future customers and clientele.

Therefore, delegating social media relations to an outside or "ghost" source is unwise. Corporate Twitter accounts should be taken very seriously, and generated in-house. This way, companies can have more control over what they are tweeting, and they can take responsibility for their tweets. Social media posts are a reflection of a company's image. Managing this image should be a top priority.