Author Archives: miscmedwriter

Fun iPod Games to Try

I wasn’t really sure what to write about this week, so I decided maybe I could just talk about some of my favorites games on my iPod touch.  Now, I know everyone likes Angry Birds….it can be addicting….haha but I am going to skip that one since you all are already very familiar with it.

My first favorite game is called Micro Panda.  I discovered it on my brother’s iPod, and I couldn’t stop playing it.  I thought it was really fun, but everyone likes different things so it might not be your favorite.  It is at least worth checking out though.

There are 8 different levels, and you are a panda bear.  The nose of the Panda has a light on it, and you glide the Panda around the level with your finger and try to light up all the trees, lamps, houses, etc.  Just whatever is in the level, and they give you points.  You have a certain time limit, and you try to light up as many things as you can.  Some things are more points than others, the big things like castles, fountains, pyramids are usually more.

At the end of each level it adds up your score and gives you a number of stars out of 3 (kind of like on angry birds).  1 would be okay but you didn’t really do much, 2 would be good, and 3 means you did great and pretty much lit up everything.  Now, I know this game might sound dumb or weird, but if you think about it, isn’t catapulting birds at walls and pigs kind of odd too?  So, maybe you should try out Micro Panda, you never know you might really like it!

The next game I like is called iAssociate.  It’s a kind of word game, and I am the kind of person that enjoys those word games that make you think.  There is a free version called Associate This, and then the full game is iAssociate, and there is also an iAssociate 2.  These two full games have many levels, and the levels take a while to complete, so the game won’t be over in a couple of days like some games are.  I hate when you buy a game, and it’s over in a couple of days even when you didn’t play it that much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The point of each level is to create a giant word web of associated things by filling in the blank spaces.  Every level has a topic work in a circle in the middle.  Then there are 5 or 6 blank circles connected to it, and they each tell you the number of letters in the word that goes there.  So for instance the topic is “blue” and then there is a circle with a 5 letter word connected to it, and after thinking you figure out it is “water.”  Then when you enter water, a bunch more of blank circles that are associated with water will pop up, and you have to figure out those.  The web just gets bigger and bigger, but don’t worry it doesn’t go on forever, each level is only so big.

When you are guessing words, if you get the first letter right it will tell you, but only the letter you get write in order.  It isn’t like hangman where you guess a letter and they fill it in wherever it’s at.  There are also bonus words in the levels, that require you to get the whole word right at once, and no letters will fill in if you type a write one.  This game is fun and challenging.  It really causes you to think, but don’t worry if you get really stuck and think you will never finish.  You can just type and enter every letter by itself, until you find the first letter and that will give you a hint.  You could even do each letter at a time like that if you had to.  It takes a long time though, so usually it’s more fun to guess the word.

This game is fun if you like word and thinking games.  I would recommend it, especially if you need a game when your going to be really bored for a long time.

The last game I will talk about is called Oregon Trail.  Now, I am sure a lot of you have heard of this, or remember it from elementary school.  It is a really fun game for all ages, I think and it can even be educational.

In Oregon Trail, you get a pioneer family (you can name your wife and children whatever you want), and you take them across the country to get to the Oregon country.  On the way you get to fish, hunt, trade with Indians, and pick berries.  There will also be bad things that happen to you like you wagon can break, children get lost or sick, oxen get injured, bad weather ect.  When those things happen you have to decide what you want to do about it.  It’s like a choose your own adventure!  You even get to pick whether to cross a river, or take the long way around it.  This is a really fun game, and I bet most people would enjoy it.

Plus, if you remember it from elementary, you can relive your childhood a little.  That’s why I got the game, and because it is fun.  Don’t worry the picture and graphics are WAY better than the old, black and white one you played in elementary school :]

I hope you all try out these games on your iPod, iPhone, or iPad, and if you don’t have one then I don’t know haha persuade your friend to get them, and then play in on there.

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Among the Hidden

So, my absolute most favorite author is Margaret Peterson Haddix.  I have read pretty much every one of her books, give or take a few, and they are SO good!  She is an amazing author.  Her books are always exciting and full of mystery and suspense.  She has written many books: The Shadow Children Series, The Missing Series, Running out of Time, Turnabout, House on the Gulf, and many more.  Her newest book just came out two days ago called The Always War, and I can’t wait to read it.

For this blog post though, I will be talking about the book Among the Hidden, which is the first book in the Shadow Children Series.  This series is a young adult series (which make sense cuz she writes mostly YA books), which might not appeal to some people because that means it is for teenagers, but I really recommend these books.  I started reading her books when I was in the 5th grade, and ever since, no matter how old I am, I will continue to read her books.

Among the Hidden is a story about a boy named Luke Garner, who has spent most of his life being hidden although he doesn’t know why.  The U.S. has recently passed a law that outlaws more than two children (sound a little familiar….China….but don’t worry it doesn’t really turn out the same as China).  Luke, who is their 3rd child, cannot have friends, watch TV, or even eat dinner with his family for fear of being seen through the window, and if his family is caught  by the Population Police, they will go to jail.  As Luke gets older, he begins to notice that he is not the same as his brothers Mark and Matthew.   Later in the book, wealthy people start moving into the area and building big homes.  One day, Luke is looking out his window, and he thinks he sees a girl in the house next door where he knows they already have two boys.  He sneaks out to investigate and meets Jen.  She is also a 3rd child and lives her life hidden as well, and her father is even a member of the Population Police.  The two become friends, and Luke discovers there are many 3rd children.  They call themselves the Shadow Children, and they talk in chat rooms set up by Jen.  They eventually all decide to have a rally to fight for their rights.  Luke must now decide to join the fight and risk be killed, or to stay safely hidden and never become free.

This is a really interesting book, and that is just the beginning of the story!  The series has 7 books all together, and they create an amazing story of what happens to Luke and other Shadow Children.  I would highly recommend reading these books, if they sound interesting to you.  I do not think you will be disappointed.

All of the books in the series are:

  • Among the Hidden
  • Among the Imposters
  • Among the Betrayed
  • Among the Barons
  • Among the Brave
  • Among the Enemy
  • Among the Free

These are parts of the cover pictures from all the books.

I hope you decide to read them and enjoy!

P.S. I think it would be sweet if they made these books into movies.  They would be really good I think :]

Hairspray


In my communication class, my professor has said that Hairspray is a good movie (also a former touring Broadway musical) that deals with the things we talk about in class.  We talk a lot about how the media plays a huge role in the ideas people have about the world.  During the time of Jazz and Rock n’Roll especially, the media changed people’s idea about race.

I though back to the time I saw Hairspray, and I remembered parts of the main plot and that there were racial issues.  It had been a long time since I’d seen it though, so I didn’t quite remember everything about the movie.  I decided to get it from the library, and wow!  It was SO different watching it again with the topics from my class in mind.  There are so many small things and lines people say that I would never have picked up, if I wasn’t thinking about the idea of the media changing people’s racial opinions.

In the movie, a young, heavy-set teenage girl named Tracy Turnblad (Nicky Blonsky) growing up in Baltimore, wants only to be a dancer on the Corny Collins Show and become the love interest of the show’s lead guy Link Larkin (Zac Efron).  After auditioning and showing of her moves on “negro day,” she achieves her goal.  But she isn’t quite satisfied with her accomplishment.  She come to find out that “negro day” has been cancelled, and it will no longer happen once a month.  This courageous, spunky girl puts aside her wants to fight for what is right.  She marches in protest with her colored friends against the TV station, and changes many people’s views.   With the help of her friends Penny Pingleton (Amanda Bynes), Seaweed (Elijah Kelley), Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah), and her parents Edna (John Travolta) and Wilbur (Christopher Walken) she succeeds, and eventually the Corny Collins Show becomes officially integrated.  One small voice taking a stand, made all the difference.

There were some small lines and things that I picked up while watching this, that I never had and many people might not have either.  During the scene when they first show the Corny Collins Show, the main song all the kids sing is about being the “nicest kids in town.”  The media give the teens of Baltimore the idea that those kids are the coolest and the nicest, and that everyone should be like them.  The girls are beautiful and skinny, and the guys are strong and handsome. You see the way they treat Tracy when she auditions for the show.  They will not even give her a chance, because of the way she looks.  It becomes not just an issue of race, but something we deal with everyday in our lives.  You aren’t pretty if you don’t look like the people on TV.

Also during that scene, Velma Von Tussle (Michelle Pfeiffer), who only cares about her daughter Amber (Brittany Snow) being Miss Teen Hairspray says “We want to keep them thinking in the white direction.”  Most of the parents in that time probably thought this way.  They wanted things to be the same as when they were kids.  Blacks and Whites were not equal, and they did not dance together on TV.   The media portrayed that whites were superior.  They had a whole show, while the Blacks were only allowed a once a month appearance.

Finally, the last think I noticed was at the being of the movie when Penny’s mother, Prudy Pingleton (Allison Janney), says “Are you listening to that race music again?” (referring to the Corny Collins Show).  This is a perfect example of how parents were against the music of the day.  They were afraid of its message, and that it would cause their children to become sexually active, or accept colored people, or both together.  Parents were set against change.  Penny’s mother of course did not succeed, because later on Penny and Tracy’s colored friend Seaweed get together.  Music change the racial views of the teens.

My favorite scene in the movie is when little Inez (Taylor Parks) wins Miss Teenage Hairspray.  Even though she is black, people put aside their views and they recognize her real talent.  The is the pivotal moment where, Corny Collins (James Marsden) announces that the show will finally become integrated.  If gave people hope that things could be better.

It was really cool to watch this movie again, and to be able to get more out of it.  I would encourage everyone to watch it again, and not just think about the music (which is really good, by the way), but think about the meanings in this movie.  The media really does change our ideas about the world.

Just for fun :]

I had the opportunity to see Hairspray on Broadway, when I went to New York City back in High School for a choir tour in 2008.  It was really fun, and exciting to see a real Broadways Musical.

Steve Jobs

So…as we have all heard recently, Steve Jobs the co-founder of Apple Inc. passed away of pancreatic cancer this week.  I though since he has a huge role in the media of today I would write a little something about him.

Here is a brief biography of him.  Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, he was then adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs.  When he was young his father taught him how to take apart and reconstruct electronics in the garage, which made him the intelligent, innovative thinker he is.  In 1976, when Steve was 21, he and Steve Wozniak started Apple Computers in the Job’s garage.  They revolutionized the computer industry when they invented the Apple I and Apple II computers.  After the next several products with design flaws, they invented the Macintosh which was youthful and creative.  Later Jobs left Apple, and bought a company from George Lucas and created Pixar.  After Pixar merged with Disney, Jobs was the largest shareholder, and he later returned to Apple as the CEO.   Then, as we all know, he went on to invent the iPod,iTunes, iPhone, iPad, Macbook Air, etc.  Apple is very successful today.  In 2003 Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.  He died on October 5, 2011 at age 56.

Recently on the radio they have been talking a lot about Steve Jobs, and they did a survey the other day asking people what Apple invention made the most impact in the technological world.

The choices were:

  • Apple II Computer
  • Macintosh Computer
  • iPod and iTunes
  • iPhone
  • iPad

Out of all those choices the most votes went to the iPod and iTunes.  They talked about its significance of changing the way you could listen to your music.  Instead of just a regular mp3 player, you now had a device that could carry your entire music library.  I think it is true.  I remember when iPods came out, they were so popular and everyone wanted them.  They really did change the way everyone listened to music.

Another interesting thing I heard them talking about on the radio, was apparently after Steve Jobs death, the sale of the classic black turtle neck he always wore went through the roof.  It is crazy the effect that famous people have on the world. I just thought that was interesting.

I think we can all agree that Steve Jobs had a tremendous impact on the Mass Communication of today.

Advertising That Works!

Okay…so the one thing I absolutely hate most about watching TV is what….COMMERCIALS!!!!!  They are SO lame!  I have never been more happy in my life than when a DVR was installed in my home, so that I never had to spend time watching and listening to boring commercials.  Now, I now that it’s advertising and every business has to advertise in order to get costumers, but seriously some of them could put a little more effort into their commercials.  Can’t you just imagine it now….the boring deep voice of some random guy droning on and on about something you don’t care about, and now you care about it even less!  I don’t really understand how they think that will bring them business.

My favorite is the commercials about medicine where they tell you all the good things it can do for you, and then at the end a really fast talking person tells you all the horrible side effects you can get.  I mean that is the best part of the commercial because I just laugh.  I think to myself, “why would anyone in their right mind take that medicine?’  I know most every medicine has side effects, and that the company is legally obligated to list the side effects in the commercial, but I just think it’s funny.  Especially the fast talking voice.  I mean even if they are talking at the speed of light, I can still pick out one awful side effect that would keep me from EVER taking that medicine.  So, I’m not really sure the fast talking voice is necessary, but oh well.

One thing that makes me like a commercial is when there is a catchy little theme song a company always plays.  If I like the song, I will sit and watch the commercial just so I can hear or sing the little tune at the end.  It is a really good advertising strategy.  People always remember those tunes, and they can recall them if asked.  Insurance companies always have their little jingles, and I bet most people could sing them all.  Music gets stuck in the brain a lot easier than a bunch of talking.  I bet tons of people can recognize these saying, and sing them too.

I bet you recognized at least one of those familiar commercial jingles we all hear.  They really are memorable.

Now, if I did have to watch commercials all the time, at least there are some really funny commercials and ads out there that always make life more enjoyable.  I think comedy is the best advertising strategy out there.  If you can make your ad funny, it will definitely be successful.  All of the comedic advertisements I have seen, I have remembered them and the company or product they were associated with.  Plus, whenever people see a funny commercial they want to share it with other, which in turn creates more exposure.  Whenever my brother sees one, he rewinds the TV and watches it like 5 times, and he also shows it to all of us.  There is a real advantage to making your advertisement comical.


Here is a commercial for the Zoosk dating site that I think is really funny

Thank goodness for funny commercials :]

The Hunger Games

Well….as I said if you read the about me section of my blog, my absolute favorite books of ALL TIME are The Hunger Games series!!  These are the best books ever!  If you have not read these books are seriously missing out.  There are 3 books to The Hunger Games series.  The first is Hunger Games, second is Catching Fire, and the third is Mockingjay, written by Suzanne Collins.  Even if you are not a reader (which I totally understand what that’s like because I used to hate reading), you should TOTALLY read these books.  They are very well written, and I think they have a little bit of every kind of genre that a person can enjoy.  It is full of action, romance, a little mystery, fantasy/sci-fi, I mean these books have got it all!  Everyone I have talked to says they were hooked, and they couldn’t put it down.  I was up til 2 or 3 in the morning reading these books, and usually when a book is pretty good I still fall asleep, so that says something.  One of the reasons I really enjoy this book is because it is an author’s theory of what the world might be like in the future.  These kind of books really interest me.  I think it is cool to read different views of what the world could be like years from now.  In this book the U.S. as we know today has been destroyed from disaster and war.  The people who are left split North America into 13 districts, and they are ruled by what is known as the Capital.  In the earlier years before the book took place District 13 rebelled, and they were destroyed so now only 12 remain.  Now to keep the people in their place, and discourage them from rebelling again, the Capital hosts something each year called the Hunger Games.  Every year one teenage boy and girl from each district has their name drawn from a lottery, and they have to compete in the Hunger Games.  The game is pretty much using your strength and skill to kill everyone else, and then you win.  The main character’s name is Katniss Everdeen, a young girl from district 12, and the book tells her story and relationship with these games.  This book is so full of action and suspense, and it has done so well they are finally making it into a motion picture!  I am so excited, and cannot wait to see it.  I hope the movie will do really well.  Actress Jennifer Lawrence will be playing Katniss, along with Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth as Gale (two of the other main characters).  The movie will be coming out March 23, 2012, and it should be a big hit.  Who knows it might even do better than Twilight, which I hope it does because it is far better.  So….this is an amazing book, and everyone should read it!!!  I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Here is a little sneak peek of what is to come :]

The Browser

So….today in Communications we talked a lot about Radio, and the ways it changed society after it was invented.  Radio first came about in 1912, and it was mostly used for naval technology.  In fact it was used on the Titanic, and a lot of people heard their distress call.  The 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s were the Golden Age of Radio.  It was a new age of liberation, and especially Jazz music.  Jazz music was invented by the African-American at first, but once white musicians started to hear it, they adopted it for themselves.  It then became popular in the white culture as well.  Jazz music became an anti-racist force among the people.  Radio was also a great source of free entertainment for people during the Great Depression, and FDR used it as a way to communicate with the people through “Fireside Chats.”  Now, as far as communication goes, there is only so much bandwidth to go around.  The big news companies we know of today like ABC, CBS, and NBC, do you know what they pay every year to have their spot?  NOTHING!!  Isn’t that crazy?  You would think they would have to pay something….but nope.  All they have to do is promise to operate in the public interest, but when we watch and hear these stations, so we really here that much news anymore?  Not really, I know for sure that most of what is shown on CBS is crime shows, sitcoms, and dramas.

These companies do 3 things to keep their “promise,” to operate in the public interest:

  • News Broadcasts a couple of times a day
  • A little bit of so-called Educational TV
  • Public Service Announcements

I never knew that is how it worked.  I thought that was interesting….anyways sorry for all the educational talk, but those were some interesting things that I learned today :]  Along the lines of radio I wanted to talk about a Radio show that I really like….

It is called The Browser.  It is on KSL News Radio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM everyday from 1-3pm.  The show is hosted by Amy Iverson and Jay McFarland, and it is a pretty entertaining show.  The two of them have great radio personalities, and they compliment each others style.  I get a laugh out of it every time I listen.  So, the show is called The Browser, because they talk about new stories and things coming out on the World Wide Web.  It is pretty much a show all about our society moving into the digital age.  We have talked about this a lot in class, about how right now my generation is in a new age of communication.  The digital age is changing the way society is, and the way things are communicated.  The Browser is a good radio show, and you all should try it out!  There are other cool shows on KSL as well.  They have the Movie Show on the weekends, and then every night from 7pm-midnight they have a show called the Nightside Project, which is also pretty entertaining.  I also think that of all the news stations, KSL is the most reliable.  They cover lots of different types of stories from good to bad.  I also don’t think that they are really liberal or conservative.  They show both sides of every story.

The Help

If you have not gone to see the new movie that came out in theaters called The Help, you have got to see it!  I went to see it last Tuesday night, and I absolutely loved it.  The story takes place around the time of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.  It is about a young white woman who interviews a bunch of black housemaids.  She wants to hear their side of the story about what it is like to be “the help” for the white people in her town.  These interviews are done in secret of course, and she eventually publishes a book called The Help, which is a real book that the movie is based off of by Kathryn Stockett.  This is a great movie!  The actors and actresses do an amazing job at portraying their characters, and showing a lot of emotion and depth.  I especially loved the actress who plays Skeeter, the young woman who writes The Help, she did an outstanding  job playing her character.  This movie gives a good historical view of what it was like to live in those times.  I never really thought about what it was like to work as a housemaid.  Most white families did not treat them well at all.  They didn’t even let them use their bathroom!!  I can not believe that they would treat them that way after they do so much.  They clean the house, cook the food, grocery shop, and pretty much raise their children for them.  However, I also liked how the movie showed stories of families who did treat their house help well.  Skeeter’s family loved their housemaid, and treated her like one of the family.  Those families also felt a lot of pressure from other families who despised blacks.  This is one of the reasons that Skeeter decides to write her book.  This is a very moving motion picture that really makes you think about what it was like for them, and also about the way that you treat other people.  We need to remember that everyone deserves a right to the freedom of this country.  I really enjoyed this movie, and I know that you will too.  It is definitely worth the $6-8 to go and see it.  I give it 4 stars all the way!

Introduction

On the first day of class, my Professor for Communications 1500 asked us all to keep a blog for the semester.  The blog has to be media related, but other than that we can do whatever we want.  Now…most of the people in my class all came up with these cool ideas, and they  thought of a media related topic that also had to do with one of the hobbies they have or something like that.  Well…for me it didn’t quite work out that way.  I thought and thought about what I could possibly blog about for a whole semester that relates to the media and that I would be interested in.  I could not for the life of me think of a blog centered around one subject that I liked.  All I could think of is that I like movies, books, music, and playing games on my iPod.  So, I said “Why not do it all?”  So here I am blogging about whatever miscellaneous media I feel like talking about.  I will probably just be talking about whatever movies I see, books I read, or new iPod apps that I have on my iPod.  Hopefully I can give good insight and opinion to all different types of media.  If you want to know a little more about me you can check out my post under the About tab of my blog.  Thanks for reading!!