Friday, December 19, 2014

Amazon black box

Have you guys heard of Amazon fire tv and the tv stick? Well basically it is a little black box that brings all of your media into your living room. Just like in Jenkin’s Black Box Fallacy:

In Henry Jenkin’s “Convergence Culture”, He says: “Much contemporary discourse about convergence starts and ends with what I call the Black Box Fallacy.  Sooner or later, the argument goes, all media content is going to flow through a single black box into our living rooms...Part of what makes the black box concept a fallacy is that it reduces media change to technological change and strips aside the cultural levels we are considering here.”

The Amazon Fire TV stick is very interesting, because it takes the black box, and makes it even smaller and more portable.  Here is an ad for the TV stick:

The TV stick is great because you can take it with you wherever, and it plugs into your tv, computer or tablet.  We can now access all of our media in one small USB-size black box that can fit in the palm of your hand. Heck, you could even put it on your keys like a key chain. That’s how small it is!
With the way technology is heading, our access to media, information, the internet, etc., is getting much larger.  And yet, our devices are getting much smaller.  There is computers out there that are thinner than my cell phone.  It might sound crazy, but it is true.  I think that technology is just going to keep getting smaller and thinner, until it is invisible, like it is in iron man.


This technology is so advanced, its crazy.  I think that our technology is going to keep getting smarter, faster, and thinner.  Yet, our access to media and information is going to keep getting bigger and everything is going to be reachable through the internet. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

do you get religious on a Sunday ???

      Looking at the paranormal powerpoint our teacher uploaded, it stated that 3 out of 4 Americans harbor at least one paranormal belief. In the reading, polls around the world indicate that 50% of people in these countries hold at least one paranormal belief. To be honest it sounds like a bunch of malarkey to me, but for some reason i cant seem to deny paranormal belief entirely. I'll be the first to say that it doesn't exist, that is until i hear a weird sound in the dark, then ghost n evil spirits are the first thing that pop into my head. I'm also not a religious person, but when i hear sounds at night and the first thing i think of are evil spirits, Praying to God is the second thing im doing lol. I come from a very religious and superstitious culture, Samoans have ghost problems up the wazoo!!! like 90% of Samoans in Samoa believe in paranormal activity. Personally i think if you believe in ghost then ghost will haunt you. I remember seeing the book "The Secret" in the same power point, and in the book it pretty much states that if you want something, all you have to do is believe in it hard enough and you'll get it. That also goes back to my culture, and also the polls, if all these people (like the 90% of my home country) believe in ghost n stuff, then of course i think theses spirits and apparitions will project themselves to you. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

paranormal activity

Paranormal activity, a look into supernatural and 4th dimensional beings. Something that has drawn humans interest for years and years. Its become a topic tied in with things like aliens. and conspiracies. paranormal beings will always be a topic of discussion. People always have a way to conjure up something imaginary in their heads which leads to the thought of things unknown. I ironically believe in such actions, I dont feel as if the human mind has the capacity to understand the realm of paranormal activity which is what always leads us to questioning. people have a thirst to find out and think about things unbeknownst to them, which is what makes the world of scary movies a major attraction. More specifically the movie paranormal activity provokes out thoughts into that realm due to the imminent realness depicted in the movie.

Is there a correlation between video games and violence

Youve heard what the people say, "video games create and establish violence in the players head". As far as im concerned i havent once wanted to lash out at a human in my life due to what i just played on my xbox in my room. A related post about this subject in our class posted a video that poked fun at a video game player lashing out after an online encounter. In my personal opinion on the video posted in our class blog, the man seemed to be more lashing out at the fact that a human being on the other line of the headset. The guy has seemingly had problems with bullying which is understandable due to the fact that he is severely overweight and has definitely had issues with his peers. The media has always tried to tie in the two ideas of video games and violence and mush them into one. The fact of the matter is that level headed people that play video games shouldn't be lumped into the category as a violent sociopath due to the amount of time they spend on internet video games. Theres never scientifically been a reason showing that video games cause a person to be seemingly violent. All just speculations.

Board Games

Call me crazy but I love getting a big group together and playing mad gab or cards against humanity.

The thing about the world we live in is of course the one thing we can't live without, technology. Growing up when I did, we slowly started getting things like the walkman and nintendos. It was all about uno, skip-bo, monopoly and apples to apples on Sundays. We actually would interact with people. These days 3 year olds have their own iPad and 10 year olds have cell phones.

Its no wonder kids are developing social problems. HELLOOOOOOO maybe if kids would actually have a conversation with a human instead of a device we wouldn't be having this issue.

Board games were fun because there was laughing, and learning, and just all around having a good time. I feel bad for the kids today because they are missing out on those fun childhood memories I got to experience growing up, because parents now a days would rather hand their kids an iPad to occupy them then actually sit down as a family and play a game. Its really sad.

Connoted meanings

Connotative words:
Childlike, Youthful, Childish, Young: Childish and childlike implies that someone is immature, but youthful infers that someone is lively and energetic.
Cheap, Frugal, Miserly, Economical: Cheap, frugal, and miserly infers that someone is not generous and is very stingy with their money.
Young, Immature, Juvenile, Youthful:Immature and juvenile suggest that someone is childish.
Confident, Secure, Proud, Egotistical: Proud and egotistical mean that someone thinks very highly of themselves.
Talkative, Conversational, Chatty, Nosy: Talkative and chatty can mean that someone talks too much; and nosy that someone asks too many questions.

Cup at the end of the table: I need a refill
Hand wave in the car: Thank you
Rubber band on the door: Private/do not enter
Lemon on a glass of Coke: Informing that its Diet

We aren't always taught what things mean, we tend to just pick things up as we go. Our perception of things can be different which makes things hard. The peace sign could mean one thing here but something totally different in another country.

Our generation really does interpret everything differently and usually in a negative manner. the definition of words is just one example, if someone has too many tattoos they're trashy. If a girls shorts are too short shes a slut, if a guy genuinely likes to cook and is clean, hes gay. You do realize what happens when you ass-u-me right? 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

If the Paranormal Becomes Normal

When it comes to the paranormal, I find the field of noetic science particularly interesting. This is the scientific study of the mind/spirit/soul. The Institute of Noetic Sciences describes its studies as research of the power of consciousness, investigating “phenomena” that do not necessarily fit traditional scientific models while still following scientific rigor. It asks questions about whether the mind (or spirit) can exist outside the physical body and tries to explain intuition. Modern noetics even venture into the investigation of the idea that the mind can influence physical matter (think along the lines of spiritual healing).
So basically, people are working to bridge the gap between science and spirituality and are trying to find scientific explanations for things we consider paranormal. There are the famous quotes like "magic is just science we don't understand yet" and I think that's a very valid point. So, what happens if we do end up scientifically proving things that we now consider paranormal? What if the paranormal becomes normal?
Dan Brown, an author of bestsellers such as The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons, features noetic science in one of his more recent installations, The Lost Symbol. He has stated in interviews that his greatest fear about noetics is that if we find a way to harness the power of our minds, we will use it for evil. He points out that usually when a scientific discovery is made, a weapon designed with this discovery soon follows.
This made me think of the U.S. government's installation of a military operation code named “The Stargate Project" in the 1970s. The purpose of this project was to make the research of clairvoyance and out-of-body experiences more scientific, with little inaccuracy. It was an attempt at using clairvoyance to spy on the enemy and was known as “remote viewing.” A book called The Men Who Stare At Goats was actually inspired by this operation and a film adaptation was made. Here's a trailer for it:

This obviously mocks the situation, which does seem a quite ridiculous. However, the government seemed to take it seriously and apparently still does, as it allegedly still has this (albeit smaller) program. Interesting.

Zombies, vampires, ghosts, etc.

Our society is so obsessed with things that are supernatural or fantasy type genre of stuff, you can tell how true this is with the popular movies, books, TV shows. The twilight movie series was one of the most popular series and to this day has a very devout cult following that is one of the strongest followings of all time. For our love with zombies you can see that from the extremely popular TV series "The Walking Dead" this is one of the most popular and most watched series on right now. There are twitter accounts for it fan accounts and nights when it is one people will always be posting on Facebook or twitter about what happens in the episode. You can see our obsession with ghosts with how many movies there are about ghost activity, paranormal activity, hauntings, exorcisms, etc. the paranormal activity series was extremely popular.
I think our obsession with this kind of stuff comes from our wonder of the unknown and things that we don't understand but want to very badly. Movie makers and TV show makers I think preyed on our fascination with this and maybe even a little bit of fear to get us to go watch the movies or tune into the tv series.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Grumpy Cat

Has Grumpy Cat Really Made Millions?

While this story goes on to say that Grumpy Cat did not actually make 100 million dollars, that cat has made a ridiculous amount of money for a cat.

I was in Joann Fabrics the other day and stopped to look at some plush Grumpy Cats on display, because that cat is adorable, and I wondered how it is that society has made it so that a cat can make more then some people ever will in their entire lives.

Grumpy Cat is now an image that will be forever remembered, he's all over the internet and will people in the future consider him high culture or low culture?

Violence in Video Games

            The Cultivation Theory talks about how people have choices. Yes, video games are violent, but we've all been taught right from wrong. The idea that people harm other people because of a video game is ludicrous. 

           Violence has always been apart of society, before video games and heavy metal. I do think that children are heavily influenced by what they see and hear though and should be shielded from that until they are at a much higher age. 

            When I was 13 years old I babysat for a friend of my mom's whose youngest was 4 and extremely difficult to handle. One of his favorite shows was The Power Rangers. I was never allowed to watch that show as a child because my mom always said it was too violent, at that point I could see where she was coming from. 

           He would jump on top of people, pull their hair and kick them in the stomach. It was always difficult to get him to settle down when he was trying to beat everybody up. Bandura published in his Social Learning Theory that children mimicked the violence they saw. 

         People are influenced everyday by things they see and hear. Video games are influential, but they don't take someone and turn them into a killer, that was something that was already inside the person. Children are the most affected by violence they see.

How social media changes throughout the year.

Something that I have really started to notice this year more then ever is how much social media changes throughout the year especially from November to January. The obvious thing that would change is a lot more companies doing holiday ads on twitter Facebook etc. but also how many different meme's there are for college students to try to explain their lives and how they feel around finals time. On twitter there is all kinds of stuff about how your brain works in finals time, how your life sucks, or how you are always stressed out about studying and your grades. I never noticed this really last year when I was in college or even the year before that you never saw things like "finals week starter packs" on twitter or things that that. Even the school social media is doing things to help students relive stress in finals week with things likes the car smash to relieve stress that they are doing outside on campus today! I wonder if anyone else has noticed this lately such as I have?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Taco Bell's twitter

Have you guys ever looked up TacoBell’s twitter account? It’s hilarious. And I think it is one of their most successful forms of advertising and they make a lot of their customers happy because they respond to nearly all of the tweets they are tagged in, and sometimes they reply to tweets that are just about tacos, tweets they were never even tagged in. 

Here are some of @TacoBell’s tweets:

Their twitter account responds to a lot of the tweets they get, and the responses are usually witty and honest. I don’t know if they just have one person running the account, or a team of people, but whoever is running the account should probably get a raise.

Their tweets are great advertising, and they appeal to consumers in a few different ways.  The biggest one of Fowle’s 15 basic advertising appeals is the physiological needs of people. Their need to eat. Even if they are eating cheap tacos.  
Some people are probably tweeting at taco bell just to get them to respond, so their need for attention.

Also, I found this post online called “5 ways taco bell is killing it with social media”
It’s pretty interesting, you guys should check it out!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Social Media Bringing the World Together

Information is alive, and so is making connections with people may have never met in a time before social media. Yes there is many things about social media in which one has to watch out for but if taken with precaution one can make many opportunities happen for themselves and others. If one creates her/his own business one can advertise for free and build connections for free. One can talk to other from other areas (towns, cities, states, and countries). The future can be bright with social media

My mobile phone of wonder

"I didn't want the equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife.  When the phone rings, I don’t want to have to figure out which button to push.  I just wanted a phone.  The sales clerks sneered at me; they laughed at me behind my back.  I was told by company after mobile company that they don’t make single-function phones anymore.  Nobody wants them.  This was a powerful demonstration of how central mobiles have become to the process of media convergence.” -Henry Jenkins 

I decided to start my post with this quote, from the power point used in class, because I felt I couldn't have worded it better myself. Believe it or not, I used to be this type of person. Nothing infuriated me more than a piece of technology that did so many things, so complicatedly. When I got my first blackberry, I hated it because I had no clue how to use it. I wanted to throw it away the second I got it and just go back to my old phone because it did two things, call and text. That's what a phone should do right? I was this grumpy person who hated changing technology because I didn't want to learn how to use it. Shame on me. Through media convergence, I essentially have the whole world in the palm of my hand. I can connect with people from all over the world. I can pay my credit card bills on my phone, buy my textbooks, groceries and that gorgeous new dress. But wait, there's more! I can also receive breaking news updates, stream live feed videos, which I have done many times, and listen to music. I can record lectures from my classes, and I can email my best friend who lives in England. My phone is a wonderful device and I intend to utilize it. I am glad I saw the errors of my ways and decided to join the 21st century. 

violent video games make for a violent reality?

      Its no big secret that folks have been saying video games especially violent ones, rotten the brain and can even lead to aggressive behavior. As true as this may seem I for one personally feel that most of it depends on your upbringing. And the reason i think that is because ive played violent video games for as long as i could remember, and i am not a violent person, (furthest thing from as a matter of fact). I'd even go as far as to say that video games (including violent ones) can also be therapeutic, when it comes to relieving stress and letting out pent up aggression. Playing videogames is what i do to escape the struggles of everyday life.

Paranormal Activity top 3

Recently in class we discussed paranormal and pop culture. In the power point the statics said 75% of people believe in the paranormal, I am one of those people. I do think there is such thing as paranormal like ghost, spirits and all the others that go along with paranormal activity.  I wanted to see the most haunted/paranormal places in the United States so I went on the website and saw the top ten. The third most haunted place was Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The reason of its haunting is because of the "The Devil’s Den" over 150,000 total soldiers converged on the scene, and when the battle was over as many as 50,000 were killed, wounded, or missing. The shadow of the battle still stands over the town today, and many claim the ghosts of dead soldiers haunt the battlefields.

The second most haunted place is located in Savannah, Georgia and is known by the name of
The Hampton Lillibridge House.  "At one point during construction, a portion of the roof collapsed, killing one of the workers. Other builders claimed they would hear voices and footsteps whenever they were alone, and that pieces of construction equipment would often be thrown across the room". what is even creepier people said they often spotted a man in a black suit staring at them from inside the house. "Countless exorcisms and investigations have taken place at the house since, and it has gone through several owners, but the presence that haunts it is said to still remain there today".
The most haunted place record is located in New Orleans, Louisiana and the name of the building is the LaLaurie House. The building belonged to physician Louis LaLaurie and his socialite wife Delphine. As the story begins, "it was rumored at the time that the couple treated their slaves viciously, and there was evidence Lady LaLaurie was responsible for the murder of a 12-year-old girl. The rumors were validated when one night a fire broke out in the mansion’s kitchen. Firemen raced to the scene, and when they kicked down a door to the slave quarters they were astonished to find several slaves chained to the wall in a kind of makeshift dungeon". Many have since claimed that the LaLaurie’s were performing grotesque surgical experiments on the slaves

My Record Player

I recently inherited a record player from my great grandfather. I also received his entire record collection which has not been touched for a while. In Henry Jenkins Convergence Culture reading he talked about how the media itself doesn't change just the device it is displayed through. Music has been around for a long time. How people have listened to it is the only thing that has changed within the music industry. Having a record player is unique but their is a lot of work that goes into playing music on a record player. I have to clean the records since they are dusty because I don't want to ruin the needle that plays the records because it is very expensive to replace. After the record is over you have to take it out and replace it. When I listen to my music on my iPod or phone it is so easy. I can skip songs, I can pull whatever song I want on, and it only takes me a few seconds.  Technology is nice but I definitely listen to a lot more music than my great grandfather did.

Here is the first ever iPod commercial from 2001:

It is crazy to think that we once didn't have iPods and we only had record players to listen to music. The "black box" that Jenkins talks about is very much real. The Apple Tv has everything combined into one. I recently watched the Apple Tv commercial and it made me think about how we as a society are so consumed with media and technology that we don't really live. We only live through social media and electronics. And the "black box" isn't freeing us from all the inconvenience of having too many devices its trapping us into spending a lot of time with just one device. 

Magic: The Social Media Gathering

We all grew up playing board games. Such as Candy Land, Monopoly, Shoots and Ladders, these are just a name of few. These were just basic bored games that we'd play for a few hours and be over it. But did you know there are board games that are beyond our basic board games? One specifically that I found interesting is the very popular game called Magic the Gathering. This game is a trading card game/role play and can be played by two or more players each using a deck of 60+ cards. Its also heavily influenced by the huge fantasy role playing game Dungeons and Dragons. It involves a lot of strategy and understanding of complex rules such as what elements are stronger than others. The players are wizards or known as "planeswalkers" that cast cards that contain spells, monsters, and objects and are used to defeat the opposing player. Believe or not there is an estimated 12 million players as of 2011. This game is a culture it self. Its today's Dungeons and Dragons and with its number of followers there are professional tournaments that are held all around the world for cash prizes up to $40,000.

Its seems today everything is made to be part of social media. There's a myriad groups on Facebook for almost seemingly everything. Magic the gathering has over 1 million likes on their official page on Facebook and about 81,000 followers on Twitter. The use of being on social media helps the Magic The Gathering community together and hold events is an example of this. 

The game has probably gotten even more followers after South Park, being south park... made an highly entertaining mash up spin off episode last month. They mash up pro-level Magic the gathering tournaments combine it with the underground MMA/Cock fighting scene. Along with all that I found it funny when they had sporting commentary from ESPN Illegal, it sounded like a you'd hear from a UFC event. Below is a link to view parts of the hilarious episode.

Paranormal Activity

I grew up listening to all of  the scary stories about ghost's and the chupacabra and what not but when I was little I never thought too much of it. I saw them as simple scary stories but I never really believed in the paranormal. I'm not saying that I've experienced paranormal activity but I am saying that I believe in it now. Maybe it has to do with the shows I watch but i'm more scared now than I was when I was little. 
There are many people that claim to see apparitions of people that have passed on to the next life and there are those who think they're lying or dreaming about it. My mother claimed to hear loud knocks on the window one night and when she got up to check there was nothing out there-but when she went back to bed she heard the knocks again. She asked me the next morning if I heard them but I hadn't heard anything; in addition she couldn't have possibly heard knocking outside her window because her bedroom is located on the second floor of our house. 
So I'm not trying to convince anybody that ghosts are real or to even believe in the paranormal, but when my professor asked in class "How many of you believe in the the paranormal?" more than 3/4 of the class raised their hand meaning majority of us get these ideas from somewhere and for some it's hard to know whether or not social media has played a role in our beliefs on the paranormal. 


Media Convergence is interesting because we are changing from using multiple devices, to one (single) smart device - which does virtually everything. I recall a few years ago (when we still used flip phones) people commenting that my basic phone had more computing power than the first space ship that took man to the moon. That was a lot of power in my pocket. 

The topic of consumers buying more devices even though one can do everything is interesting. I believe this is due to our technology habits.  I own and used an I-pod, a laptop and a smart phone and a television. I accumulated each over the course of a few years, but I use each individually. I am more comfortable using a certain device to provide a specific service. I prefer my I-pod for You-tube and music; but when surfing the web or using social media, I prefer using my android, while movie watching (Netflix) is done on my TV. This may be out of habit and familiarity, but never the less, I continue to tote all three of my tools (the TV stays put) that have the processing power to take me to the moon - each and every day. Someday - I am sure - all my devices will turn into one, but for now I am enjoying working off a device that only does one thing. 
When I turn on the TV, the thought of having to make the choice of internet surfing, Netflix, or broadcast television - with the creation of smart T.V.'s there are even more choices - is a little overwhelming. I feel the restful days lying on the coach, watching whatever appears on the "viewed" station - because I don't want to change the channel because the remote is too far away - is over. This causes me to wonder if we only get our media from one device will we become more isolated and sedentary because we always have access to instant technology right at our fingertips - will we even attempt to learn or try experience anything new?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Selling a Lifestyle

I remember as a teenager, responding to advertisements because I felt its what I wanted. On a subconscious level I think it was. However, it seems more so these ads weren't selling me "things" but selling the idea of a lifestyle.

For instance when I was younger, all I wanted to be was a "woman" I could not wait to grow up and be taken seriously, I wanted to be independent, feminine and sexual. I would flip through magazines like Glamour or Cosmopolitan. Occasionally I'd buy items advertised in these magazines. More often than not, I would track down look alikes, convincing myself, "If I have this Jacket, or bag or heels I'll be grown up." Now I understand these advertisements weren't selling me things, they were selling me the lifestyle I wanted at the time.

As I've gotten older I've assumed my tastes have changed, while that may be so, more likely my lifestyle desires have changed. I've noticed over the past few years I've responded more so to campaigns like Tommy Hilfiger or Anthropologie.

 These designers are brilliant because they sell a lifestyle I happen to crave. I've moved on from wanting to be taken seriously, to actually being taken seriously. Now, I want cozy get-aways, dogs, family, thick braids, sailing trips, and chunky knit sweaters. I'm going to respond to the lifestyle their selling, and in all likelihood buy some of the things. I'll probably continue to tie these items with the lifestyle I want.

This relates to the list of needs found in our reading of Fowle's 15 basic appeals.

Angel sighting or nah?

Touched by an Angel

It's pretty typical for our society to define paranormal activity as demonic. Nearly every paranormal source of media out there has a purpose to scare the public with the phenomenon of demonic material in many different forms. "Possession" is probably one of the most common themes in the movie and television industry. Movies like Paranormal Activity, The Devil Inside, Insidious, The Haunting in Connecticut, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and The Conjuring all include forms of demonic possession. 

I can't stand movies like this. They are entertaining to some, but I hate the idea of it and they don't entertain me at all. It's not necessarily that it does or does not scare me, but the fact that this kind of demonic material is appealing to society disappoints me. Most of the time, movies of this type try to become more appealing by saying "based on a true story". That line makes a lot of people react differently and certainly makes it more believable to the audience. I think it's just unnecessary for people to be watching this kind of material because of how terrifying the concept of it is. It's literally hell on earth. There are other forms of scary movies that I do enjoy, but demons and possessions really push the limit of entertainment for me. Can't we all just watch Will Ferrell movies? 

Because of how society is based on demons, I wanted to counter with an angel. If you believe in paranormal activity of any kind, this is probably worth the watch. I don't necessarily believe it, but its certainly more appealing to me than if a demon creature showed up in this little girl's hospital. I think angels are a little more realistic, however, whether you believe in them or not is entirely up to you. I thought this video was interesting no matter what views you may have. Plus, it's on the Today's Show so we believe everything in the media right? 

Just kidding, but thanks for reading. 

Aliens vs. Ghosts:.

With such a broad definition as events or things not associated with scientific knowledge, paranormal activity could refer to almost anything. What I think of when I hear paranormal activity first and foremost is aliens and/or UFO's.

Many claim to have seen some type of Alien life, whether it be that of a UFO or weird happenings affecting their use of technology. Though a person who experienced the phenomena directly is convinced that they saw a craft or being from another galaxy, there are logical explanations to what they may have seen. However, when alien activity occurs it almost always is accompanied  by flashing lights, erratic movement and, as if to seal the deal, no sound whatsoever. In other alien findings, some are able to communicate with these unknown creatures, but have never been able to catch it on film, or record what they're experiencing. I for one am not convinced. I personally, have no belief in aliens or UFO's. There is constantly so much going on in the sky that we have little knowledge about, so I feel like it is unfair to make assumptions that aliens are making visits to earth and messing with us.

Looking back now I realize that I had no idea the intensity of media, when I first entered this class. I had not heard of half the movies, TV shows, or video games that we have talked about. I was clueless to all of the theories and hidden means with in social media. Now I cannot watch a movie or TV show and not think about all the hidden meanings and laugh tracks. It has really made me curious, do most people pick up on all of those things on their own? Or do they have to have someone point it out to them? Granted growing up I rarely was in front of the TV, so does watching TV from a young age make you more susceptible to pick up the meanings?

 It has been an eye opener to me to see how much people use social media in their daily lives and how addicting it gets. Since I have done my media fast I have really become aware of how useful media is, but I have also become aware how demanding it is. Since I did my media fast I set aside specific times in my week that I turn off my phone to just enjoy the day or get stuff done. It amazes me how much I can get done when I don’t have that constant distraction. So why do we let phones, TV shows or social media run our lives? Why do we make sure we are home at a certain time with everything done so we can watch the new episode of our favorite show? Or why do we never leave home without our phones? Or even check social media during every break in our day? When did media start to run out lives, is there a specific time or did it just gradually makes it way to never leave?
Yesterday in class we talked about the paranormal and media.  I found a lot of the things we talked about really interesting.  You don't have to be religious to believe in spirits or any other types of paranormal activities, and we talked how 3 out of every 4 Americans believe in some type of paranormal activity whether that be: horoscopes, astrology, yoga, faith healing, and many more.

I found this video on YouTube that goes along really well with the story that was told in class of the mirror that supposedly, if broken, gave the person who broke it 7 years of bad luck. This video is titled: "25 terrifying objects that are genuinely linked to freaky paranormal events".  As the title suggests the video goes over 25 objects that supposedly bring bad luck or are evil in some way.  Here is the link:

Personally I believe that there are some objects that are linked to some freaky stuff like wigi boards, and there are some things on the paranormal activity list that I believe in, but you'll see in the video that a lot of the things that they list as "genuinely freaky" almost make me laugh because of how foolish it is.  I think that the media has created a lot of stereotypes in what we see as freaky in society, and we as a society than believe that the things depicted in the media are freaky. So media definitely, in my opinion, shapes what we as a society see as scary and linked to paranormal events.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

When killing is a game

A few weeks ago, we talked about a reading by McGrath called When killing is a game. The article talked about how video games have changed over the years and how it's corrupting our minds, mostly men. The more popular the video games, the more violence it brings. In the video below, it shows the bad effects video games have on us.

Children who play more violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Too much video game playing makes a person socially isolated. A person may spend less time in other activities such as doing homework, reading, sports, and interacting with the family and friends. Games can confuse reality and fantasy. Besides all the violence, it could also increase high blood pressure, heart rates, and stress.

Below is another video of what video games could do to a person's brain when addicted. 

All these violence and addiction could be stopped. A person should limit their time playing video games, and start balancing their lifestyle. Do other activities like something outdoor or with friends. Also, if choosing a video game, make sure it is acceptable. Try and buy games with less or no violence, and think about why you shouldn't get it. A study shows the negative effects it could have on a person, and how it could ruin a person's life forever.   

We've all of done Paranormal Activity... I Gurantee it!

If the word paranormal popped into your head, most likely scenes from horror movies come along with  it. And probably even haunted houses, ghosts, communicating with the dead and maybe even witches. In other words the list that Gallup surveyed. And your thought would be very much like most of our culture being that paranormal is defined as being demonic.

Anette Hill defines paranormal as “…a proposition that has not been empirically attested to the satisfaction of the scientific establishment but is generated within the non scientific community  and extensively endorsed by the people who might normally be excepted of their society to be capable of rationale thought and reality testing.”

Dictionary. com defines it similarly as well,“of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event 
or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other 
purportedly supernatural phenomena.”

It is interesting to think that even though we relate paranormal as bad, evil and demonic, really it is anything that is falls under things that science cannot explain, so things like horoscopes, reincarnation, belief in aliens, folkloric creatures like big foot, and even religion

We can find paranormal scenes in the recognizable movie Matilda. (Sorry for the bad voice over work. It was either bad video or bad audio; take your pick.)  Don't have to watch the full scene you can just start at the time 2:50.
We can see the paranormal of "magic powers" in the film that Matilda possesses.
And one more clip for the holiday spirit where we find paranormal in the cultural famous story  A Christmas Carol.

Now I quickly want to look at the paranormal activity of superstitions. Do you believe or not believe? 
We have superstitions all over in culture. This is kind of a longer video, but worth watching. Shows the history to some popular superstitions, a few of them I didn't even know about. 

  I know I have had my superstitions as an athlete and I think that comes along with the athlete culture because we seem to think that every great athlete has one or two. We kind of assume you can't be a great athlete without one. But outside of sports I don't consider myself superstitious, like I am sure many of you don't think you are either. But do you still tend to avoid superstitions? For example, avoid crossing the path of a black cat anyways, even though you tell yourself you aren't superstitious. So does that mean you are subconsciously superstitious?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Social media!

Social Media has become almost a necessity in the world today and it is almost used for everything and every occupation. I never thought I'd see the day that they would have people specialize in using social media for an occupation. Of course when it first started I just assumed that it would be an easy way to connect with friends and people you hadn't talked to in a while, but now it has become a medium in the world of advertising, communication, and promoting. You cant do anything without seeing it because some company or job you apply for is always requesting that you like them on Facebook or follow them on twitter. We really might as well not even have the news any more because big time stories always end up hitting the social media stage within minutes. I don't mind social media though, because it is an easy way to get God's word out to a multitude of people and it assure you that somebody will eventually see it and it will hopefully impact somebody for the better.

What's In A Package?

Let's look at packaging.  I'm sure we all already realize the significance of package design in our world today, but do you think young children know?  Packaging design for the most part in my opinion is heavily geared towards young children.  For instance, look at cereal boxes like Cap'n Crunch here.  Lots of contrast and complimentary colors, fun fonts and cartoon characters.  Simple red background to lessen it's distraction.  To finish it off, hardly any text at all.  This is obviously designed to be a visual attention grabber.

 Now that we've grown up a little bit, let's look at a more adult approach to packaging.  Here is the Netflix login screen.  Although there aren't cartoon characters or fun fonts, you still are shown a very simple layout.  A small amount of text in the sign in box and the Netflix logo is the only text you see on the page.  The clean image for the background isn't too flashy to distract you from signing in.  And then there is an attractive woman to give the background some actual information to process, kind of like Cap'n Crunch up there.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Steampunk in our Pop Culture and the Influence of Nostalgia.

I think the "Steampunk Culture" in our society is so interesting and I was actually pretty surprised when I found out that it was part of our curriculum for the Media & Society course. It's interesting how this movement has become such a phenomenon in certain communities and how it has created its own small subcategories of pop culture.

Last January, the DSU Theatre department did a production of Hedda Gabler, a play written by Henrik Ibsen that takes place in 1896 (right during the Victorian ages). The story has very dark themes, so the director decided that he wanted his concept to be "steampunk" with "lots of jewel tones and gears." One of my friends who was the costume designer listened to his concept and tried to create a more steampunk version of Victorian fashion. This included some very nontraditional Victorian things, like exposed corsets and short hair on women. The main character, Hedda, is the one who showed the most steampunk in her look, because she is the darker more serious character of the play.

Here is a production shot that shows Hedda's costume (sitting on couch).

I find it interesting that the director went with this Steampunk concept in a show that already takes place in the Victorian era. It just goes to show how steampunk has become its own time and style that is inspired or reflected off of an actual time period.

I am personally not a huge fan of the Victorian era, because the first thing I think of is the lack of personal hygiene, but this era has influenced an entire population of people who have created something new from it. There are many other eras that are romanticized and that have produced their own following, for example there are fans of the Regency era (Jane Austen) who romanticize that time in history and try to live that way as well. There are also people who romanticize the "roaring 20s" or the 50s and have created their own style of living that adheres to the ideals and styles of that time period.

I find that especially today, our generation is so influenced by nostalgia and the past. I find this most evident in the clothing of today. The interesting thing about fashion is the change of silhouette. In the past, most decades or eras are pretty defined by their silhouette in clothing, but if we were to give a single silhouette that defined the fashion of today, it would be nearly impossible. Dress styles from the 50s and 60s are becoming much more fashionable and everyone is all about "vintage" clothing and shopping from thrift stores. It seems that as we move into the future, our styles are moving back into the past.

Here are some funny clips that kind of parody the "Steampunk" style and type of person:

And here is a Vimeo link to the second video since I couldn't find it on youtube:
Key & Peele "Steampunk Skit"

Converging Frozen

Talking about Jensen's Theory of Convergence made me think about all of the different things that originated as movies and then expanded across so many different platforms of media. The one that stuck out the most to me was the Disney movie Frozen. For Halloween, hundreds of thousands of Elsa costumes were sold. Olaf stuffed animals, Anna action figures, Sven blankets, the whole 9. There are video games, books, ring tones, all of the songs, and I'm sure a sequel will be made. This movie stretches across the Internet, Movies, Books, Music, and many more platforms of media. Whenever a popular movie or series is made, they stretch it across as many platforms as possible to squeeze so much money out of the original idea. You think of Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, any superhero, and all of these do the same thing. So the converging isn't just a technological idea but a business technique.