October 17, 2008

Manned mission to mars

A manned mission to Mars sounds as exciting as the next Star Trek’s episode would to any Captain Picard and Enterprise crew fan. This anticipated manned mission to Mars, by such figures as the 2008 Republican Presidential candidate and especially those at NASA, is not expected to happen for some thirty more years. If there are thirty years why not take our time and devote funding and tax dollars to issues that need fixing here at home, like healthcare for example. Mars can wait another sixty or seventy or even hundred years. By then, the craters and red sand along with the below zero temperature will still be there like it has always been, and hopefully by then technology will have surpassed where it is today. The bottom line is that Mars can wait. This mission need not be rushed, as Earth should be given priority in interest while we are living off its resources.
The lucky participants who, will be chosen when the time calls, will have to travel at least a good six months before reaching Mars, according to a BBC news article. The Moon was a three day trip. These astronauts will have to live on Mars for several years before returning and with Mars’ frigid temperatures and lifeless form, we here on Earth, most likely won’t be in a rush to vacation on Mars or rather yet live on it.

October 14, 2008

Photo Slide Shows

I looked at MSNbc's, "The Week in Pictures." The photo slide show consisted of 13 photos and captions about 13 different events that took place around th globe. The captions, about 2-3 sentences each, explained the contents of the photographs very well. All the photographs were focused on people and current events. I thought the pictures worked very well because there was a lot of aesthetic value in the photographs concerning photography. I also thought it was interesting the viewers could vote for the best picture, further emphasizing the importance of the aesthetics of the photographs.

The second news source I looked at was ABCnews. The slideshow titled: "Iraq: Where Things Stand" was a 9 series photo slide show about the poll in Iraq. The captions explained events relevant to the photographs but were more or less about the actual people or event taking place in the photograph. I thought the photos were also less aesthetic in value and were more about what a typical scene from the caption looked like.

I thought the third news source, Fox News, was better than ABC news. Being a big fan of photography I looked for aesthetic values in the photographs to interest me. But at the same time the aesthetic values can play with emotions. Fox news had a photo slide titiled, "Christians Flee Mosul in Fear of Lives." The captions explained the contents/persons in the photograph well, unlike ABC news where the focus of the captions were more about events that took place in more general terms. I thought this slide show worked well but the photographs could have been better.

Viewing photo news slide shows, I'm most interested in how a photograph can captivate me or capture the essence of the event. At the same time I depend on captions to clue me in on what is happening. I do enjoy the photo slide shows but I can deal with just an article and one photograph if need be, when it comes to just point and shoot photographs.

October 7, 2008

OCT 2 VP Debate

The vice presidential debate last Thursday was a must see for me. I was more drawn into the debate than the presidential debate. I understood and took in views of both candidates. Not only that, but the candidates seemed to be less hostile towards each other in body language than the presidential debate had been. The issues they talked about revolved around energy polices, taxes, global warming and gay rights. Although, as empowering as the debate felt, it was very disheartening to see that both candidates can tolerate or support gay rights yet do not support homosexual marriages. This is an issue that provokes me to think that despite possessing political experience as Biden or inexperience as Palin does, there was but a simple answer regarding gay marriages and it was ‘NO’. Where is the rational explanation behind that? Palin’s inexperience shone through although she debated quite well. Her reference to “hockey-moms? and “Joe six packs? felt a little demeaning to the rest of the non hockey moms and non joe six packs. Are those the only people she is willing to work for? It is better off to address the majority of Americans, the middle class and not go back into high school terms and labels.

The Startribune’s coverage of the debate was released at 5am Friday morning. It covered the main topics of the debates (taxes, energy policies, Iraq war etc.) and covered the parts of the debate that I think caught a lot of people’s attentions. The article was not as critical of Palin as I expected and held a more or less unbiased view of each candidate. Instead, it reiterated only the public criticisms that the candidates have been known for but with respect; such as Palin’s tendency or failure to fully answer questions. The New York Times’ article was titled “Palin and Biden Are Cordial but Pointed? by Patrick Healy. The article was full of quotes and really filled in on the debate; for someone who may have missed the debate the article did a great job covering it.

I looked at the Washington Post for Sunday, and read up on an article about SNL’s “coverage? of the debate. It’s funny, because my roommate who did not watch the debate, nor is sure who she will vote for, but watched the SNL coverage, brought up in a conversation with me the same things that other credited news sources were discussing; such as gay rights and even the characteristics of each candidate. The Miami Herald contributed an article stating that Biden won the debate but Palin was more likable. I find this hard to believe. Though Palin did much better than I had expected, of all the people I have met Palin has been labeled, “dumb? and worse. Even those who would vote for McCain had no comment on Palin. The fact that Palin was selected as VP candidate by McCain still fumbles me.

September 30, 2008

Presidential Debate

Of the three articles that I picked up about the presidential debate on Friday Sept. 26 I found The Wall Street Journal to be the least one sided. The debate was portrayed fairly with quotes from both sides. It was also more observant of the debate compared to the other two articles from The New York Times and the Startribune where the critical details and aspects of the debates were pointed out against one another (McCain and Obama). However, I found The New York Times article to very informative on reporting the reaction after the debate how each party attacked the other on what they said or even the smallest details as far as facial expressions. The article made a good point of how the Obama campaign went as far to criticize Sen. McCain not returning Sen. Obama's gaze as "condescending" and "disrespectful." The Startribune articled focused mainly on McCain and attacked his actions. Of course it was titled, "Displays of volatility are a negative for McCain." While catching the last hour of the debate on Friday I agreed with much of what the Startribune article has to say. Although I found it hard to relate with many of the topics that Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain brought up and how they planned to deal with these issues; I did notice that Sen. McCain seemed very volatile in his speech and interactions with Sen. Obama. Being not so familiar with presidential debates or jargon, I questioned my understanding of the small things like not returning a gaze or the tone of the voice, but after reading the articles, espeically The New York Times and Startribune, I am starting to notice that these things do matter and they do affect the viewers' perceptions of each candidate.

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