Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Headline: McDonalds taking over the world

This blog is going to add some variety to my collection of posts. Variety is good. The quote was from "Funny Quotes of the Day (Brainy Quote)" thanks to Charles Kuralt. I might as well just the put the quote out there for y'all so you can understand what I'll talk about later on.

"You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars."

Hahaha! First off, the country in the joke is our country, America. Second off, there ARE a lot of burger joints. When I first moved here from Bulgaria, one of the first things I noticed straight off the bat was all the fast-food places available everywhere. Seriously, no joke! In Bulgaria, they had Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonalds and other, local restaurants. They were actually expensive for people, so not many people would visit them, so not many people got addicted and fat. But, looking at America and its inhabitans, it was like not technology but fast food was taking over the world. Maybe it is. The ceaseless multiplying of fast food restaurants does not exactly help the factor of obesity in this country. I did some research and America has one of the top, if not the top, level of obesity in the world. I know that a lot of other factors are included, but it gets you thinking with all the different fast food restaurants. What is your view on fast food restaurants? Do you visit them often, do you enjoy them? Do you really think they "control" our country? Why or why not?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

8.5 Million People. 90 Minutes.

8.5 million People in 90 minutes, no wonder the server crashed! This blog is on an article from the Rocky Mountain News entitled "Roxtra!, October 23."The Rockies are in the World Series, and everyone wants tickets to go watch them play. So how do they get the tickets? Some idiot put together a system where people could go online and buy them after a certain time. This person must have thought that people would patiently line up and purchase the tickets online peacefully and in an orderly fashion. Didn't work! 90 minutes after people were permitted to go onto the Rockies’ website to buy tickets, a grand total of 8.5 million people tried to gain access to the online tickets. The server, obviously not being able to hold that many people, crashed. This is all after Matthew Gould, vice president of corporate communications, MLB.com stated that, "Obviously, this is not a first-time thing for us. (Online) traffic is not an issue." Whatever. I think this idea was unique but not thought-threw. They must have known an insane amount of people would want to buy Rockies’ tickets. It made me really mad because at home my dad (got’ a love it) had our three laptops out and was trying to get in on all three of them. But it didn't work, and now games 3, 4, and 5 are sold out! I personally don't mind watching the games from my couch, but my dad and brother really wanted to go. One of those 50 things to do before you die, y'know?! It just blows me away that 8.5 million different people/computers tried to get on the website in the first hour and a half. What a bandwagon. Or maybe they are all hard-core Rockies fans. Which side do you fall into: a jumper on the Rockies’ fan club band wagon, or a 10-year straight, hardcore diehard Rockies fan whose favorite player is still Larry Walker or Todd Helton? At the games, it's funny, whenever the people with the mikes going around and asking people who their favorite player is, the hot chicks and the younger crowd go with Tulowitzki or Holliday, while the older crowd is generally for Todd Helton. I guess when people just start liking the Rockies, they see that Matt Holliday or Troy Tulowitzki are hot (athletically doing well) and just add them to their top player list, while the old-timers and hardcore fans have liked Todd Helton because he has been on the team for 11 years! What a vet! He is my favorite player by far!!! Who are you for, Boston or Rockies?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rollerblades, Starbucks and Wild Hogs

I'll be honest. It is monday, the begining of a long week (I have gotten used to PLCs and days off that a full week seems like a lot) of school. I am not looking forward to the late nights of studying and the early mornings of waking up. I was browsing the Education articles under the 2¢ Worth and saw one that did not have to do with the K12 conference or the Did You Know powerpoint. So I clicked on it and figured, ah, it will work. The article, "Way Stupid,"by Mr. Warlick about him buying a pair of rollerskates the day he turned 40 thinking it would solve all of his mid-life crisis.
When I read this article, my first reaction was the picture. Isn't if hillarious?

Another connection I made while reading the article was a text-to-text connection with the movie Wild Hogs. The four old guys get out their motorcycles and pretend to be care-free college students, when they are married, middle-aged men. But they ride off and have fun and experience the "wild" and meet some adversity. But they are going through a mid-life crisis, kinda like Mr. Warlick was at age 40. The Wild Hogs got out their motorcycles and rode off, while Mr. Warlick bought his rollerblades and bladed off. Whenever I think of mid-life crisis I just laugh and think, wow, you must be old to have one of those. I will never know what it feels like until I am at that age. I always make fun of my dad for having his "mid-life crisis," (which he doesn't, but I tease around with him anyways). I think this story and Wild Hogs have a lot in common, personaly. I have already stated why. I chose this article because of two reasons" it had a decently catchy title that brought me in (like it was supposed to, dang, i fell for the bait) and because as soon as I read it the movie Wild Hogs popped into my head. I will say this is not my best blog yet, but hey-it works!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Video Games Becoming as Realistic as Life!

An article that really caught my attention was “Video Games: the Next Generation,” written by reporter Marc Cieslak. This article discusses the topic of the next gen games. They had pictures up on the article page that just blew me away; the graphics on video games are getting to the point of insane. I mean incredible. The article talked about the differences between new video games, such as Halo 3, and next generation video games, such as Assassin’s Creed. The latter game allows you to interact with almost everything in the game. I hate it when I play video games, and they are, well, fake. Like, when I try to enter a building and the door doesn’t open, because you can’t enter the building. Insufficient. The other thing that bothers me a lot is when I am running, like in a war game, and I go right through my enemy; I don’t bump into a person, I just walk right through them as if they were a phantom. In Assassin’s Creed you can interact with every part of three different cities and walk into doors, climb walls and the layout is basically 3D, or real. Also in the game when you run into somebody, you recoil and fall down, while when you run into a small lady going full-speed, you stay up while she falls down. So the way they made the game is just real. But the article doesn’t focus around the game; it focuses on video games in general. “So you've seen in fighting games where boxers are up close, you get more detail on the facial animation. Or in car racing games it looks exactly like the car, and you get more shiny cars and the environments are more realistic. But for me personally, next gen game had to mean new types of gameplay."

Ubisoft producer Jade Raymond says that amazing games just have good graphics and more detail, while new generation games mean they have new types of gameplay, new ideas, and new boundaries. An example is the computerized players in Assassin’s Creed. Mr. Pontbriand states that "For NPCs we have hundreds and hundreds of different looking characters that were the templates we used to create our initial models. But then we created our own technology to take those templates, cut them down into pieces and then, with the technology, added the ability to randomise between skin colour, clothes, hair colour.” Most games out have computer players, who you can fight against but they all look the same. This game has sketched tons of different types of computer players, and made it able to randomize them with different skin color, clothes, hair color and style creating thousands of different players. I think that is amazing! The things technological groups can do these days to make video games and programs just amaze me. I have always wondered, what do you think games will look like in 30 years? Have you seen the progression from Super Mario to Halo 3? Can you notice a difference in graphics between those two games? I hope so. Movies have also changed. John Wayne to Transformers. It surpasses my knowledge compatibility of how people can create these things. Talent and time. The producers of Assassin’s Creed have been working on that single video game for over 4 years now. I can not wait to see what the game is like and maybe actually play it. A next generation video game. Hope it’s worth all that production time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Google Earth Homework...Cool!

Mr. Fisch had a fascinating article on his Fischbowl blog called “A Google Earth Odyssey.” Have you ever read the book, The Odyssey? Well it is about the Trojan War and Greek and Sparta battling a long time ago, and then the journey that one of the main characters went through on his way home. Mrs. Smith talks about how she has assigned her freshman class a project using the technology of Google Earth. They were supposed to plot out their own “Odyssey” using places in the world they have been to. I thought this would be really cool, especially for me, because I have been in lots of places, mostly the United States and around Europe. It would be neat to share with your class where you’ve been in the world. Kids could relate to one another. Having gone to some of the same places, they could tell stories and share picture and just indulge in conversation and make connections. With all the new technology improvements and upgrades, classes and teachers can make school a much more productive and enjoyable learning environment. Remember when audio tapes got replaced with CDs, which are now being taken over by digital mp3s. Desktops with Laptops. CD players with iPods. Books with online texts. Classrooms will be dominated by computers and technology allowing the modern student a larger variety of learning capabilities. I used a computer classroom the other day; they were really, really cool. Even now, classrooms have projectors, screens, computers, and they are getting more every day.

Have you ever used it? Google Earth is amazing and a pleasure to use. I thoroughly enjoy fiddling around with. It’s a 3D visualization of the world put together using a collection of satellite images. I love locating my house and my school and my friend’s houses. Using it for a school assignment just blew me away. I was like, totally awesome! I’m glad for Mrs. Smith’s class that they get to use them. I can not wait until the day of our Google Earth assignment comes from Mrs. Comp (I spelled it right this time). A totally new generation of students are growing up right now, using technology more widely in the classroom than ever before. I think it’s to everybody’s, including my, advantage. I love all these new ideas!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

It's a good time to be a Rockie's fan!

The team that has made it to the play-offs once and were knocked out the first round have regrouped, improved and are going to win the World Series this year. I just finished reading the article in the Rocky Mountain News entitled "Rockies Tickets Available...For a Steep Price." I can relate to this article so much that I will be quoting it a lot. I have loved the Rockies since forever. My friends were all Yankees fans and Cardinals fans- the big dog teams, but I stuck with my Colorado homies, your very own Colorado Rockies. My friends would always joke, “the Rockies might actually get a winning average this year,” or “if the Rockies make the play-offs then I will shave my head.” Well, it finally happened. I was at the game verse the Padres, and when the Rockies won in the 13th inning, the crowd went crazy. It was so loud for, well, forever. Even on the way home in the train people were still chanting “Let’s go Rockies!” It had been an intense game, but they pulled threw and came back in the last inning and won it. Now they are dominating the Phillies, and will hopefully sweep them. “The hottest ticket in town this weekend gets you a coveted seat to watch the Colorado Rockies, long considered the ugly stepchild of the Denver sports scene.” That quote from the article shows that the Rockies have definitely not been the pride of Colorado in the past, but this year they are. On Sunday, the matchup with the Phillies at home is going to be phenomenal. Even though that is the same day the Broncos play a decisive game against who cares anyways because the Rockies are playing. I am going to the game on Saturday and it’s going to be an unforgettable experience. “We're talking $60-plus for Rock pile tickets — double face value — and up to $1,200 for the best seats in the house.” The Rockies tickets are being sold for a lot of money! I relate to that quote very closely because whenever my dad and I go we sit in the rock pile. Why? Because tickets are 4$ a person. Can it get any better? (No!) But now they’re going for 60$ a pop. All I could say was, wow. A lot of people have been jealous when I boasted to them my excursion to the game this upcoming Saturday. I am extremely looking forward to it. This game matters a lot! All of Colorado is watching the Rockies with renewed hope and excitement. It’s going to be one heck of a series. Even people who can’t afford tickets or can’t get them are still going downtown to watch it in the local pub or bar. "My husband and I are huge Rockies fans, so we're just disgusted that people are charging too much. We decided to just go to a bar downtown and watch the game." Go Rockies!!!

Now, you can use your laptop in school!

A very diverse topic is disused in the article “Two Steps Forward,” by Mr. Fisch. It talks about two ideas and future plans that are revolutionizing schools in this time. The first topic concerns use of personal electronic devices that can connect to the internet. At Arapahoe, the media center has only 37 computers, and when all the computers are filled, where can you work. What if you have an assignment due the next period, and you’re running out of time? The school board is discussing allowing students to bring their own personal devices (laptops, iPhones) to use for their school work. A Wireless Network covers 95% of the school’s footprint. I think this idea is very useful and needs to happen. I would feel a whole lot comfortable using my own computer at school for schoolwork and other projects. I can do more with my computer, because it is mine. At the school computer you have to save your work in a certain folder, delete it after you print it or email it to your home for printing, and other annoyances. Although it would be incredibly convenient, it could also bring up some doubts and questions. Would it be safe to bring my computer to school? Would someone steal it right behind my back? And then this is where the second part of the article comes into play, what about internet filtering?

There is a specialized internet filter for the entire school wireless network. It was updated last year, so the list of ban websites was redone. And now they have sites like YouTube and Google Videos banned from public use. The teachers have an over-ride if they need it for a class discussion or personal use, but what about the students? In the past year, kids have been allowed to research videos on those sites. But now it is banned! I think it has two sides to this idea. I know that both those sides can have some inappropriate content on them, so it is good that students don’t have access to that. But also, they might need them for an assignment. I personally don’t use Youtube for many assignments, but other s might. Do you think this is a good idea or not? I personally think that it is both good and bad. I think the first idea, the one concerning use of personal electronic equipment to connect to the internet is a fantastic idea and should be applied. I could easily carry all my homework around with me, instead of hoping I remember to put it on my thumb drive or praying that I had emailed it to myself so I could recover it in time for my class. But I also think it is a good decision about banning some internet sites. I think there are just too many kids out there that would be vulnerable to that inappropriate content. This could provoke a whole new discussion and issue, but it’s just my view. I think kids should be allowed to use their own personal devices inside the school building, but that the internet filter should stay as it is, strict.