October 26, 2007

Edwards' Campaign Tries to Silence Student Reporter

A local radio station has been discussing this YouTube video for the past few hours, detailing how a journalism grad student from UNC-Chapel Hill has been the target of presidential candidate John Edwards' Media folks. Student Carla Babb's assignment was to create a feature piece on a topic being discussed on campus, so she decided to present a "fair and balanced" piece in response to an article written by another student in the Daily Tar Heel campus newspaper. The DTH news article had stated that Edwards' campaign office, located in an "affluent" part of Chapel Hill, contradicted his "campaign platform of fighting poverty." Babb created a video piece for the "Carolina Week" newscast, interviewing both that student reporter and another student working as an intern for Edwards' campaign office. She then posted the video on YouTube as part of an MTV News contest. Soon thereafter, she received a call from campaign officials working for Edwards, demanding that she pull her story offline and "saying that the story was straight from the Republican Party." C.A. "Charlie" Tuggle, a professor at UNC and news director of the "Carolina Week" broadcast, received repeat calls from Edwards' campaign after Babb refused to remove her piece from the web. "I thought I wrote it as balanced as possible," Babb stated in a radio interview.

You can read the rest of the details in the AP story here and watch the video for yourself below.

What do you think? Was her story fair and balanced? Have Edwards' campaign officials turned a non-subject into a major exposition of how silly they can react to something that otherwise would have only been seen by a few thousand people?

October 4, 2007

Paperback Swap

If you like to read, or if you're more like me and just like to tell yourself that you like to read, then I've got a great website for you to check out! It's called PaperbackSwap.com. It's free to join and this is how it works: After you sign up and post a certain number of books to your "bookshelf" that you are willing to give away, you'll receive free credits toward other books in the system! The number of credits is actually changing TOMORROW (Friday, Oct. 5th), so if this even vaguely sounds interesting to you, I'd recommend signing up TONIGHT so that you beat the system change. As of today, once you post at least 9 books on your bookshelf, you'll get 3 free credits, but as of October 5th, you'll need to post at least 10 books to get 2 free credits. (See why it's worth signing up today?)

What do you do with the free credits once you have them? Anything you want!! There are more than 1.5 MILLION books currently listed into the system and chances are strong that you'll enjoy reading a few of them! If a particular book is not currently available though, or there's a long waiting list of people ahead of you wanting to read it, you can add it to your "Wish List" and the system will send you an email alert as soon as you've reached the top of the waiting list and it's available!

So how do you get the books? Well if you're receiving a book, you just log into the system when alerted and accept the book offer. However, if someone wants one of the books posted on YOUR bookshelf, then you follow a few simple steps to mail it to them. The system will walk you through how to print out their address and tells you the appropriate postage amount for Media Mail. Then if your book isn't too bulky, you can actually use your printer paper to wrap the book instead of a bubble mailer and just stick it in the mailbox! There are a few details you have to know before doing all of this, but it explains everything to you. Then once the other person gets your book and marks it "Received," you'll get an additional credit towards another book in the system!

Anyway, it's a great way to clean out books that you don't want anymore, recycle books you find at garage sales or library sales, or even trade out children's books. Oh and did I mention they have a referral program? You'll earn a free book credit for each person that signs up (and eventually posts their initial 10 books) using your referral name. Since I know you're wondering, mine is goldentwig. :-)

September 25, 2007

North Carolina taxpayer money hard at work

Well unless you avoid all media and can't stand anything to do with sports, you've probably heard by now about the stunning defeat by my alma mater, Appalachian State University, over No. 5 ranked Michigan on Sept. 1st. App beat Michigan, 34-32, in an unprecedented move to become the first Division I FCS (I-AA) team to defeat an Associated Press-ranked Division I FBS (I-A) team ever! This eventually knocked Michigan out of the AP Top 25 Poll (which ASU is not eligible for) and deflated Michigan fans all over the country into becoming the target of many jokes and much ridicule. Especially considering that Michigan University paid Appalachian State a sum of $400,000 to travel up to Ann Arbor for the season opener. Ouch. (To get a recap of the game and read some hilarious comparisons between the schools - such as stadium size - check this article here.)
But now it appears the fans and media aren't the only ones poking fun at Michigan... check out this Senate Joint Resolution from the General Assembly of North Carolina. I'm not sure how many tax dollars this resolution took, but victory sure does feel good to brag about!

August 23, 2007

Fuzzy Baby Pandas Look Like Pink Rubber Toys

Anybody who knows me well is aware that I've been a huge massive fan of Giant Pandas longer than my mom can remember when or why. As a fourth-grader I went around counting all of the panda items I had collected, and they numbered over 100. I'm not even going to waste my time attempting to recount that figure these days!

My friend Damon always manages to find the coolest panda photos recently posted on the web to then send to me. Well this is the coolest set I've seen in a long time! They are development photos from the first three months of a Giant Panda cub's life! They're simply adorable, and to see what I mean about "pink rubber toys" I urge you to check them out here! :-)

August 20, 2007

Jason from Franklin, TN is auditioning for the TONTINE Reality Show

My friend Jason Madden, who was the youth pastor at New River Fellowship in Franklin, TN for a while when I lived there, recently sent me a link to his video on YouTube and explained that he's been chosen to audition for a new reality TV show called "TONTINE." TONTINE is described as "the biggest prize in Reality TV history"... $10 MILLION DOLLARS. To hear Jason's humorous story, I encourage you to watch the video above and if you have a YouTube account (or wouldn't mind quickly signing up for one), vote for him by adding this video to your favorites (click the red heart next to SAVE), "Add to your Playlists", and/or leave a comment.

The person with the highest views/rating/favorites/and comments will win $10,000 and be on the show. Then that person and 14 more contestants will spend 100 days in the TONTINE Challenge which spans all 7 continents! Jason is contestant #100303.

Read more about TONTINE here: http://www.jointhetontine.com/

August 14, 2007

Learning 2.0... Librarian-Style!

Being a bit of a web-geek myself, I often find it difficult to convince friends and family to embrace new online technologies as quickly as I discover them. For many of them, it seems that I have to set up a one-on-one training session with them to show them how it works before I can convince them to switch over to using the new online tool or web gizmo.

Yet today I read an article on Wired.com about a VERY COOL website that was set up by the Charlotte Mecklenburg County public library to teach their staff these new technologies and reward them for doing "23 Things" over a period of 9 weeks. The topics range from setting up a blog, to tagging and using newsreaders, to podcasting. They rewarded staff with a free MP3 player and the chance to win a laptop. Apparently it was quite a hit with library staff and even more so with other libraries - the Learning 2.0 blog boasts a list of at least 100 other libraries and groups around the world who have adopted this system for their own use!

So if you don't know what the terms RSS and Wiki stand for, or you just want to hone your already tech-savvy skills, give the 23 Things Challenge a go. You just might learn something new!

August 2, 2007

Math Book Helps Girls Embrace Their Inner Mathematician

Anybody in their late twenties or older will remember the much daydreamed-about "Winnie Cooper" from the hit TV Series, "The Wonder Years." Personally I was more obsessed with Fred Savage who played the handsome young Kevin Arnold (he was only a year older than I was when the series premiered), but yet each week I would lay on my stomach in front of the TV, giddy to see what would happen between the two adolescent "on again, off again" lovebirds.

Well apparently that on-set tutoring that the young actors received during their teenage years of filming the show really paid off for Danica McKellar who played Winnie. She later graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a degree in mathematics among other achievements, and has now written a magazine-style math book for teenage girls entitled, "Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail."

I don't much like the idea of the horoscopes inside, but otherwise I know this will be a book that my Math-major husband will someday want to buy for our kids (at least our daughters)! Hopefully he'll wait past kindergarten before making them start reading it...

Check out the article about Danica's book here:

May 30, 2007

The Future is Here...

I know it's been forever since I've written a post on here... well seemingly, anyway. Back in February, I wrote a nice long response to the announcement that Adobe is taking Photoshop online (similar to Google Documents), but blogspot decided that my cookies weren't compatible with my firewall, and when I hit "Save now" before publishing, it logged me out and erased everything! (Apparently they've since implemented an auto-save feature...) Anyway, I was so frustrated that I avoided blogging for a while longer... but now I'm back!
In the vein of my friend Jeremy's blog, I'll probably just use this space to highlight interesting topics and links I find online, although I might sometimes delve into personal issues too... we'll just see how it goes!

The first thing I wanted to highlight is a new technology I recently discovered, called Microsoft Surface. Now I'm not normally a huge proponent for the M$ brand, but I do have to admit that this is unlike anything I've ever seen before. I can't imagine how many restaurants will soon be using this technology (or how much the ones that do will COST), but all that matters to me is that the technology has been invented. Once it's invented, it can go anywhere and competitor companies will pick up the idea (I'm hinting for Apple and Adobe to do something with it!)

The idea behind Microsoft Surface is that it's a 30-inch display table that lets you interact (using just your fingers) with everything from your digital camera to your cell phone to your credit card. You can look up and design interactive road maps, organize your digital photos, and select menu items at a restaurant.

Check out the short videos at this link to see what you think for yourself. Is this futuristic or what? http://www.microsoft.com/surface/

Join PaperbackSwap to trade your books for titles like these! http://goldentwig.paperbackswap.com