April 8, 2012 Leave a comment

This was an assignment we were to do from the DS106 website called “Comments for Kids located HERE. the blogs I chose to comment on were:

Lamillya’s blog at

Ayden’s blog at

Lilly’s blog at

Hmmm… describe my experience, huh? Well…I don’t know, I just got through writing the comments, so, there’s not  much to describe. I was kind of amazed at some of the things these kids are doing at their age. I mean… I didn’t see anyone that actually listed their age in their “About” sections, Lilly had a picture on hers, but  other than that, I could only guess they were pretty young. Seems to me at the age I’d estimate most of these kids were, I was probably still working on “Go Pug Go” and all that sort of thing, but, these kids are out there blogging. AMAZING!

Anyway… maybe I’ll have more to say later, maybe one of them will drop me a message back or something. For now… well… I’ve got an over abundance of other assignments to do so… BYE.



April 2, 2012 Leave a comment

ASSIGNMENT: Establish a country of your very own. Appoint yourself the head of state. You can be a monarch, a military dictator, an elected official, the style of government is up to you.

       Now that you are the leader of a country it is time to design for yourself a realistic postage stamp, a currency, a stationery letterhead and a flag. Strive for realism here. You don’t have to create the physical object, but do strive to create a photo-realisic rendering of these objects. I want this believeable.

       Make some initial drafts, sketches, ideas, etc. Scan these in if necessary. I want to see a work-flow. I want to see ideas you tried and abandoned. If you go with your first ideas, the finished product won’t be good enough. Write (or record) a summary of your process along with your rough draft sketches & post it to your blog. Submit the URL to this assignment.

       Start with brainstorming about which objects, scenes and thoughts are the most meaningful to you. What is it that when we look at it means you? Why are these so meaningful?

       These are the tokens, the markers, the ideas that should comprise the marks of your country. For ideas, be sure to look at currencies and other examples from around the world.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Uhhh… best I could do with the time I’ve had. Yeah… not too thrilling thus far, huh? But I’ve got my idea go’n on and a basic direction for the thing to go in with a little symbolism thrown into the mix. It’s pretty much  explained in the image below if you can read my scribbling, but basically it’s like, “Victory and Peace – The Thing Speaks For Itself.” Get it? ? ? OK… maybe not too terribly clear there… I’m not too clear on the whole thing myself, but… uhhhh… I think I’m on to something here. So… there you have it. Don’t like it? KICK ROCKS!

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April 1, 2012 3 comments

Before even starting this report I’d note that I originally did not hear the “Daisy and the Apple Factory” podcast as following the link provided in class did not take me to that podcast but simply to the homepage where I mistakenly reported on the podcast that was featured there. So, having missed the original podcast I went to the archives to see about listening to the “Daisy and the Apple Factory” podcast only to find it is the only single episode there which could not be played or downloaded. There was a transcript there, but really, who goes to a podcast to read it? As someone entirely familiar with battling issues where the truth has been misrepresented or outright covered up, I felt this was somewhat suspicious. I mean, obviously with internet resources being what they are, I’m sure in time you’ll be able to come up with the original podcast, but, you know…

Anyway… I did listen to the TAL Retraction podcast (which incidentally, also could not be downloaded) and, well… I personally didn’t think that highly of the This American Life podcasts in the first place; sure I found some topics and portions of the stories amusing and all, and they do have their own distinctive style which is kinda cool, but they’re just another form of traditional journalism, so I didn’t find the fact one of their stories (the story they’ve more or less built their bank on) was a fabrication to be all that shocking. Long, long ago I read a statement that was a revelation in how I viewed journalism as well as a great deal of things… it read something like, “The principal behind journalism and the principal behind extortion is exactly the same… that if you hit an individual hard enough, they can be made to give up money.” That was the basic concept behind Mike Daisy’s story as well as This American Life’s podcast of “Daisy and the Apple Factory” and it’s really no different with this “TAL Retraction” podcast. Making money is really the only thing that counts with nearly everyone today with $$$ trumping the “truth” almost every single time.

Where credibility and reputation equal $$$ of course This American Life is going to spend a few minutes on how they didn’t check their sources followed by the better part of an hour on what hits their listeners the hardest… how a supposedly reputable person (Mike Daisy) associated with a famous story lied in that story and in turn, lied to them. As Rob Schmidt had pointed out… it seemed pretty strange the story depicted China factory workers making only $20/day to be kicking back at “Starbucks” to chat over a cup of coffee, and that was what got him to wondering about the whole thing. I mean, most people might not make that connection but you would probably expect an actual journalist concerned with the truth to make such a connection in their “Fact Checking,” wouldn’t you? Yet This American Life states they basically only checked statistical and geographical information in their “Fact Checking” process on this story. There was a huge impact made some time back regarding a photo of a Chinese toddler chained to a pole while his parent worked because it isn’t at all realistic to expect the average Chinese citizen to be able to afford childcare, yet, TAL didn’t find the reporting of these same Chinese citizens chatting it up at expensive coffee shops to be suspicious in the least.  It seems pretty obvious to me that nobody, and I mean NOBODY involved in this entire story (except Rob Schmidt), cared about how truthful they were in the performance of their duties where such a “Hard Hitting” story was involved.

I don’t mean to make this out like This American Life are just the absolute “Bad Guys” in this whole situation because, in reality, the way this whole thing went is simply “The Way Of The World.” Money concerns come before all other concerns in virtually all areas of life, even more so in business. Conditions in China are so horrible it’s not hard for any journalist somewhat familiar with how things work in China to exploit those conditions for their own personal gain. I mean… personally, I’d done a substantial amount of research on “Globalization” relating to a paper I’d wrote in a previous class from which I was under the impression in most of these Chinese “sweatshops” it’s common place to find 12 to 14 year olds working 16 hour days for 12 cents an hour, which is even worse than it was made out to be in this pod cast. It was in the news long before this how criticism of China’s government by its citizenry or violation of China’s “1 Child” laws and the like can easily land a Chinese citizen in a work camp where they’ll find themselves tissue typed so their organs can be sold on the black market. Reportedly, in some cases, if some really wealthy person is willing to pay enough they can actually have organs extracted from living work camp inmates… I mean, they were living up until the organs were extracted, that is. (There’s an image relating to this story above)  With such conditions, yeah, I can see where it wouldn’t be too terribly difficult to believe pretty much anything you hear relating to horrible conditions in China, but does that really relieve journalists from checking their facts? Apparently it does… because, as I said… such is the way of the world.

When Obama reported he was fulfilling his promise to “Bring Our Troops Home” from Iraq the world of popular journalism just ate it up with all the talk of troops returning to the US, but they failed to look into the big picture, to check the facts, which were that as these troops were “being brought home,” transport after transport after transport of US troops were simultaneously landing just across the Iraqi border in Jordan. So in the context that was reported, did Obama really “Bring Our US Troops Home?”

Out here in regular life and in virtually any profession it’s pretty much the same story as all the above. Any professional individuals having achieved any status of any sort make serious mistakes, mistakes that make them look bad or cause some form of harm to someone (which might affect their $$$), they’re just going to lie about it and nobody, especially their fellow “professionals,” will ever check into the actual facts. If somehow the facts do make their way out into the light of day… oh… well, it was a mistake, sure they did wrong, but, there was some other outside factor that caused it. Anything to relieve those of status from responsibility for any serious mistake they make… and that’s pretty much how it’s always been…

Look in your bible… “The good that I want to do, this I do not do; but the evil that I do not want to do, this I go on doing. So if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin, that lives within me.” (Romans 7: 15-20) Something like that. Like I said… It’s simply the way of the world, always has been.

Report on the “TAL Retraction” podcast? Well That’s about it. Act 1, Act 2, Act 3… excuses, justifications, rationalizations. I mean, what else could there be? But, as for me personally, I’d have found it far more respectable if they’d just made a press release and posted a short statement on their site simply stating that, “Yes, we screwed up, we were lied to and failed to check our facts… I’m really sorry we’ve screwed up like this and we will be making some changes in the way we do things to hopefully ensure this never happens again.” Instead… the first headline I saw relating to this read, “We Were Duped,” or something of that nature, and there’s a 1 hour podcast basically “pointing the finger.”

There may have been a little more to it… admittedly… by the time I got to Act 3 I was pretty much through listening so I don’t remember much from that. Something about how the workers themselves were reported to have wanted all the excessive overtime instead of being forced into it. Well… yeah… low income people here in the US tend to try to get all the overtime they can get as well, so they can buy all the privileges our government is willing to sell to them; therefore,  it may not be able to be said that they didn’t willingly ask for the overtime. However, in reality it’s just economic slavery, so how much “choice” is really involved there? There was something about some Apple factory having had 2 explosions due to a poor working environment only 7 months apart. Another little part relating reports that “threatening” conditions were supposedly rare in these Chinese sweatshops. Yada, Yada, Yada… whatever… like I said, I was done listening to all the propaganda at this point.

After the way this whole deal was handled… I’ll not likely go out of my way to listen to any This American Life pod casts, that’s for sure.

Comments were posted to the following Blogs of this assignment:

Jeff’s Blog at:

Ashley’s Blog at:

Kelly’s Blog at:


March 31, 2012 Leave a comment

OK… well… I thought we were supposed to do 4 of these things, my 4-th one sucked. Take your pick of these 3… well… whatever. Throw a dragon tail on the ‘ole switch for the dragon there or… well… it’s pretty self explanatory. DONE!



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TDC 16-18

March 25, 2012 Leave a comment

1) Make a photo that emphasizes the color yellow.

2) Make a creative photo of some sort of boundary.

3) Celebrate religious architecture with a photo of your favorite… church, etc…

4) Take a picture from the inside of something looking out.



Probably more to come before assignment is actually due… TTFN…

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March 20, 2012 Leave a comment
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March 17, 2012 5 comments


The podcast sort of began with an interesting audio montage of different people stating, “Your listening to RadioLab from WNYC…” which I thought was kinda cool. It then went into “a cinematic history of parasites” noting the movie Alien where the parasitic alien had popped out of that dudes chest. Audio from Alien was inserted into the background while the commentators gave the play by play of that scene. That was one way to get the audience into that “Parasitic” sort of mood, I guess… then…

They started talking to Carl Lemmer, a science writer, who argues that parasites are not necessarily “degenerates” as is said to be a common belief. Carl made the connection that parasites basically live off other things which is really no different than we humans do. When I thought about that I thought mainly of how government and socioeconomic classes are basically set up so each higher class more or less leaches off those below them. I mean, the insanely rich (Rockefeller’s and such) basically survive by controlling and leeching off everyone, which is done through our government officials (Obama, Romney, etc…), sort of a class just below them. Then below them is a class that feeds government and such by way of various taxes, fees, and other revenues paid (Corporate America/the Business Class); this class also feeds off the class below them in that they own and/or operate the businesses that sell goods and services to those below them (the Lower Classes)… and so on and so forth. The whole scheme is far to complex to really detail here, but yeah, humans basically live (or feed) off other humans as well as everything else they can possibly use to get by with the very lowest classes grasping at anything they can possibly get ahold of to survive; so yeah… humans are definitely parasitic.

The story then went into some information on the parasitic Wasp, Nematode, Blood Fluke; none of which really seemed to have any redeeming qualities… well… other than the monogamous nature of the Blood Fluke. This seems to be something not too many humans can accomplish. This and the above were both factors I found kind of funny or amusing since my sense of humor is basically rooted in irony and sarcasm.

As for what surprised me or made me think, I was intensely amused at the whole “Rockefeller-Southerner-Toilet” thing relating to the hook worm. Fascinating. Amazing the connections which had to be contemplated to arrive at the relationships between the laziness of southerners of that era and their tendency to go barefoot, their common practices in defecating, those to anemia, and anemia to hookworms, resulting in the creation of outhouses which basically eradicated hook worms in the US. Just goes to show you what CAN be figured out when there’s a ton of money to be made. I can only venture a guess as to who pioneered and marketed the first modern commodes, anyway, pitty that in today’s world there’s generally no money to be made in the solving of problems, but only in the perpetuating of them, for the most part anyway.

Then it was even more surprising to learn how, in contrast to the problem of hookworms, they can also be a benefit to certain circumstances. I certainly never knew hookworms could basically cure allergies and asthma, possibly up to 80 diseases that result from the body’s immune system eliminating organisms which can actually assist in keeping us well. Amazing really. Seems I’ve heard some vague reference to that before but not enough to really catch my interest.

Actually… the entire last portion of the cast relating to hookworms was all pretty fascinating to me. “CAN PARASITES CONTROL BEHAVIOR?” Yeah… that part was pretty interesting too. “Toxoplasma gondii,” a parasite that, in rats, convinces them that they love the smell of cats (against their natural instincts) so they’ll end up lured close to, and thus eaten by the cats, thus return the offspring of the parasite to the cat, it’s ideal environment. Pretty cool. Again, this could relate to the human socioeconomic structure. Like how all the insanely rich and government (the “top dogs” of human parasites) mislead the people to believe terrorism is this huge problem, large enough to convince the populous to give up a substantial number of their civil liberties, when in fact, when you put things into perspective, statistically, more Americans die every year from peanut allergies than from terrorist acts. In the case of the toxoplasma gondii though, what’s even more fascinating, though I didn’t hear it in the podcast, is that this parasite is actually a species of protozoa, a single celled organism. WOW! A single celled organism effecting mind control in species consisting of trillions and trillions of cells, possibly even humans, now that’s fascinating.

Commented on Brian B’s post at:

Commented on Jeff’s post at:

Commented on Brian S’s post at:

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