Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Don't Judge A Book By The Cover....or sometimes even by the first 50 pages

Though it is slightly belated, as this list would have been more helpful last week during the sentence we were given due to the snow, I think it is still relevant, and one that should be perused. I recently started reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote for Dr. Stacy Spaulding’s Literary Journalism class (My first edition copy is pictured here). It begins a little slow, and as wonderfully descriptive as Capote is, some of the sentences do run a little long. You may occasionally have to return to the original thought at the beginning of the sentence to remind you of the information he was giving. I’ve been told since elementary school that it is wrong to begin a sentence with a conjunction. I don’t always agree with that belief, as I feel it can add emphasis to a sentence and allow it to stand out. However, when there are four sentences in two paragraphs that begin with ‘and’ or ‘but’, it can become slightly distracting. I am not attempting to deter you from reading this novel; in fact, it is quite the opposite, but I do feel that it is something of which you should be warned. If you have yet to read the following books, add them to your list of necessities.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Resist any assassination desires.)

Existentialism by Jean-Paul Sartre

Anything written by Friedrich Nietzsche

When Cupid's Arrow Strikes The Achilles

Substance is not something you’ll find in the film Valentine’s Day, no matter how hard you try. A host of pretty faces does not save the film’s main problem of having no plot. It attempts to be a romantic comedy in the vein of Crash and Pulp Fiction, with characters coming in and out of each other’s lives, however, director Garry Marshall has forgotten to include one genuine exchange between them. You will also find no romance, and no comedy. The blonde boy (Bryce Robinson) in the film is eerily well spoken, and is somewhat reminiscent of a child from Village of the Damned with eyes like a resident in the Bradbury novel The Martian Chronicles. (The creepy photo of him is courtesy of IMDb. If you view the larger photo on the website, you'll see more of what I mean.) Also, am I the only one who lived in a neighborhood where you would have gotten beaten up if your first name was Edison? If predictability is something you desire, then you will absolutely love this film. If you miss anything, you will be quickly reminded by the 16,000 shrill teen screams in the audience when the characters dance from their puppet strings.

Road Chivalry Is Dead

While driving home last week in the snow, I came to the conclusion that most people who have a license SHOULD NOT have one. I’ve yet to determine whether they are really are just without the necessary hand-eye coordination, or if they are simply inconsiderate of everyone else on the road. When the snow has made it so the lines on the road can’t be seen, one would think that it would be obvious that it is dangerous to pass other cars, let alone at 50 and in the right-hand lane. If your car has a manual transmission, as mine does, try to stay in the highest possible gear to prevent excess wheel spin. Also, DO NOT downshift to slow the car down. This is something that really should be done even in good weather conditions. Remember—it is much less expensive to replace worn brakes than to replace a clutch. Most sources say to turn the wheel in the direction of the spin, however, it is also important to learn to counter-steer to correct the slide. Driving in heavy snow conditions should always be avoided when possible, but you CAN be safe about it. When the news says that no one should be on the roads except for emergency vehicles, don’t be one of those people who thinks it is a mere suggestion and doesn’t apply to them.

Yellow Snow Is No Longer Your Main Concern

I recently went to refill my water bottle from the fountain on the second floor of Towson's Van Bokkelen Hall, and was quite surprised when I went to take a sip and noticed that the water has a slight yellow tint. Ok, ok, I’ll admit, I was too thirsty at the time for that to keep me from drinking it, but I was still a little concerned. I will be speaking with administrators in an attempt to address this problem, and will hopefully have more information for you very soon. In the meantime, I would recommend not using these fountains. I have only noticed this in the Van Bokkelen building; however, this doesn’t mean that it is confined to this location. If anyone notices this in any other buildings, I would like to know so I can include this in my inquiry. Until then, it might be best to bring water from home or to buy it from the vending machines on campus.

A Hard Rain's Gonna Melt

The abundance of snow has Maryland up against the wall, and it was illegal to dump into the Chesapeake Bay until this recent storm, as officials don’t know what to do with it. It is now legal to do so, and experts say that it should not have a major effect on the salinity of the bay. However, they have said that a heavy rain could melt the snow too quickly, and could cause flooding and other problems. An article on WJZ’s website has more information on this potential problem. I think that it could be slightly premature to say that the immense amount of snow that will be deposited will only have this consequence. Just in case, prepare for extra salty crabs next season.

(Photo from original article)

A Temporary Hiatus

Though this will be my first post in the last 8 months, I think I may finally be ready to commit to it. I've always loved to write, however, I haven't always loved to share it. Obviously, this is something I'll have to grow accustomed to as an aspiring journalist. My main goal will be to provide relevant thoughts in an increasingly irrelevant world. I'd like to think I have a lot to say, but I suppose you'll be the judges of that.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Recent Beat Story

I found a story in the Baltimore Sun by Ken Murray entitled, "In Baltimore, a question: Why not a World Cup?"  It discussed the upcoming game to be played at M & T Stadium between European soccer teams Chelsea and AC Milan.  It also went on to discuss the possibility of Baltimore hosting the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.  

The article was informative, but I think it should have talked more about the upcoming game, as the amount of tickets sold show how well-received a World Cup match would be in Baltimore.  I would have also added some quotes from city residents or those who will be attending the game in July, telling how they feel about the World Cup being brought to their city.  Some pictures would have also brightened up the story and given it a little more life.  I would have, at the very least, added a picture of the stadium, and perhaps the World Cup logo.  The original story can be found here.