Monday, July 19, 2010

Our movie!!!

Ok. So I was thinking about posting this in our links section.... but I feel like once you watch it once, you probably wont want to watch it again. And I also feel like it needs some explanation. But hey. Check it out!!

This is a movie that Caitlin and I made with our friends Kendra and James. We made it for the Campus Movie Fest last Spring. It had to be less than 5 minutes long, and we only had 7 days to make it. (Some how we managed to do it in about 3). Also, we got extra points for including that touch-screen phone. We ended up making it to the top 16 of our school AND we won the Golden Mobile Award for our use of the phone. That meant that a portion of our video was shown at the semi-finals in New York City. Yay!!! We hope you enjoy!!


Friday, July 2, 2010

U.S.A. All the Way!

For the United States being an independent country, we are considerably dependent on China. We continue to purchase products from the Chinese that are often times defective and even deadly. We choose to buy their poorly-made products instead of our safer and better quality U.S.-made products. The reason our country decides to do this is because China sells its fare cheaper than we can, and we buy into it.
China has continually dropped prices on its products in order to dominate the global market, such as under-cutting the price of vitamin C to one third of the global rate, says Richard Knox, a reporter for National Public Radio. Other economic and product problems involving China have arisen recently.
Since May of 2007, there have been several accounts of defective products coming from China. Toothpaste, pet food, children’s toys, and cough syrup are some of the few products that have reached our shores.
According to the Food and Drug Administration‘s website, in April of 2007 the United States blocked 257 food shipments from China. We block twice as many shipments from China as all the other countries we get imports from combined. Knox reports that experts say that “the problems are a consequence of globalization, and especially on America’s growing dependence on China for food ingredients.” The average person in the United States ingests 260 pounds of imported food per year, including processed, ready-to-eat products, and single ingredients, which consists of 13 percent of their annual diet, reports Carl Nielsen, former Director for the FDA’s Import Operations.
There are 350,000 food firms all over the world that export to the United States, and according to Nielsen, the FDA only inspects 100 food imports. In other words, the food imported to the United States, less than one percent of it is inspected.
One could say that the reason why the FDA does so little inspections on the home front is because global field workers inspect where the food is grown. However, Nielsen states that in the past fifteen years, only 1,000 field inspections have been done in China. When the FDA does inspect products, it does not and cannot inspect everything. Melamine has shown up in Chinese-imported dog food and other products, resulting in the deaths of many pets, getting past the FDA‘s minimal inspections.
Our purchases of China’s cheaper products have caused the closure of several U.S. factories. The New York Times’ editorial “Tired Protectionism” reports that since 2006, four US tire factories have shut down because China’s tire exports to the United States tripled between 2004 and 2008.
As an alternative to help our economy instead of China’s, people across the country have been refusing to buy Chinese-made products. Buying food at the farmer’s market and paying a little extra seems like a hassle, but it has its advantages.
Buying locally grown, seasonal food helps national farmers and general health. China has been selling our country low-quality goods that we continue to buy that aids its economy and depletes our own.
Buying local and nationally-made products whenever possible will help our economy and individual spending habits.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lean-Forward vs. Lean-Back Entertainment

People tell me often that I am addicted to the internet. I’m not going to say that is a completely unfair statement, but I feel that I need to justify it. I will probably end up going into all the reasons I like the internet and its importance to me, but for right now, let me just focus on one part of it – Lean-Forward Entertainment.
Few people know the difference between Lean-Forward and Lean-Back Entertainment. The definitions of them are actually quite literal. The thing that differentiates them from one another is the mode in which entertainment is viewed. Television shows and movies are what we call “Lean-Back” entertainment because, well, that is what we do when we watch it. We turn on the TV to put our mind in a different place and submerge ourselves in someone else’s story and situation. What we watch on TV and in movies is fiction the majority of the time, and therefore can portray any number of different storylines and subjects.
Videos on the internet are called “Lean-Forward” entertainment, because they are not only watched for entertainment, but are often watched because you want to actively involve yourself in the subject and with the people who are making the content. YouTube is, for the most part, the main provider of this content. When someone, like me, goes onto YouTube to watch a video, they are not only watching the content of the video, but are rating, commenting, and favoriting those videos, which are often user-generated, and therefore you are helping to make that content by giving your opinion. This is most common with people who use YouTube as their television.
I don’t watch much TV because the content is often too impersonal for me, and the ability to give my input to the maker of the video, and the way that I can relate to the creator changes this and makes Lean-Forward entertainment is more personal. The main type of YouTube videos I am talking about are vlogs (video blogs), not mindless videos with skateboarding cats and music parodies. The videos that are watched for Lean-Forward Entertainment are made by people who are the writers, producers, actors, and editors of their own videos, which in my opinion doesn’t make them any less talented or worthy of praise than people who make it on TV.
People say that I am on YouTube way too much, and people say I am addicted to it. But is it really that bad? Sure, I spend a good half hour a day catching up on my YouTube videos in my Subscription box, but what makes that any worse than watching hours of television shows a day? YouTube is just my preferred form of entertainment. I prefer to Lean-Forward and watch, while others prefer to Lean-Back. Does that make my choices of entertainment any less valid?



Dear followers,
As you’ve probably already read in our description, we plan on writing about things that strike a chord in us. The topics we choose to write about may not always aggravate us. Some may make us jump for joy, while others make us want to curl up in a ball and cry. What we write may not necessarily be your opinion, but we hope that maybe it will help you see the other side of a topic, and if you do agree with us, that you have added more points to your arsenal. We hope you enjoy our posts, whether they be informational or just entertaining.
Bloomies Kara and Caitlin