Award-winning videos from 2016

Awesome work!

Jayson Peters: Founder of Nerdvana

A video I shot and co-produced with Pueblo Chieftain reporter Peter Roper won second place in the multimedia category of the annual Better Newspaper Contest at the 2017 Colorado Press Association convention. “Remembering Hiroshima’s Empty Streets” featured World War II U.S. Army veteran Bruce Elson recounting his experiences in the Japanese city of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb explosion that helped end the war. The video was edited in Adobe Premiere CC.

I also edited “Columbus Day: Pride & protest in Pueblo,” which won second place in the breaking news video category and was shot by reporter Jon Pompia. The video was edited in iMovie for Mac.

I’m also proud to add that The Pueblo Chieftain was named Best Website-Daily in its category!

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Thoughts on The Path to Publication

I came across this article by author John Scalzi today. I think he makes a valid point for any of us diving into the world of writing fiction. I recently started writing a story that I one day hope to publish. Unfortunately, the doubt starts to creep in sometimes and I haven’t worked on it for a few weeks. Scalzi is one of my favorite authors, but I’ve also been a bit behind on reading his blog. When I saw this, it instilled a sense of optimism in me. I think I’m going to go back to the story soon.

 

“The important thing here is: I did start writing. And I did start getting published.” – John Scalzi

Source: Reader Request Week 2017 #8: The Path to Publication

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild to Have an Alternate Ending 

This will certainly be a departure for the series. I wonder where it will lead for future installments? The more I hear about this series, the more I am inclined to bite the bullet and purchase a Nintendo Switch.

Shigeru News

Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma has teased an alternate ending for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In an interview with IGN Portugal, he said that a different ending will be shown “if you meet certain criteria.” “If you do a few things, you may see a different ending,” Aonuma teased

Source

How do you all feel about this news of multiple endings? Let me know in the comments! I’m personally excited over this and this will inspire multiple playthroughs
-Deven(HylianHero98)

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End of Watch by Stephen King (Review)

Note: Contains Mild Spoilers. This post is also available on my Good Reads page.

I find iEnd of Watch by Stephen Kingt increasingly difficult to put a Stephen King novel down. Despite its over 400 pages, its shifting perspectives, and its relentless thrills throughout, 2016’s “End of Watch” the third book in the Hodges/Mr. Mercedes trilogy is a solid and satisfactory conclusion to the series.

The novel opens with a vignette style flashback to the night of the Mercedes Massacre, where the now catatonic Brady Hartsfield drove a Mercedes into a crowded job fair line, killing several people and injuring countless others.

Following this, the story flashes forward to 2015, where our hero, Bill Hodges, awaits the results of a medical test, a terrible, biting pain gnawing away at his side. As he sits in the waiting room, Hodges receives a phone call from his old police partner Pete about a murder/suicide. The reason for the call: one of the injured victims of the City Center Massacre.

Thus, begins the final chapter of the Hodges storyline. A theme of perseverance and healing permeates the story. The reader can see it in the way Hodges acts, in Brady’s evil schemes, and in Holly Gibney’s actions and evolution as a character.

As the story unfolds, the suspense growing with each mini chapter, we see a gradual shift of character attitudes. The bonds of the protagonists strengthen significantly over the previous book. King always writes good characters. These are people you probably know from your own life: your shy cousin, your intellectual friend, your older, nice neighbor, or your slightly snotty doctor. The portraits of modern life painted by King can certainly draw you into the story.

King’s villains are also great. The villain experiences growth and learns from his mistakes, albeit in a supernatural capacity. He does not simply stagnate and become the ‘big, bad, evil guy’ that only exists to further the plot. Brady is a creature of habit, with strong personality traits and a goal. We have a run-in with several characters from previous books and King expertly ties all the threads together by the end of the story.

The themes of depression, loss, and suicide all appear throughout the book as well, with the goal to prevent them. Some interesting technology (the Zappit Commander sounds familiar) and a bit of a critique on the smart phone junkies of the world round out the story.

The prose is conversational and cohesive, but a bit long for what it is. The language also follows modern culture, which lends a certain human quality to the story. There are a few parts that are a bit on the grisly side, though, but if you’re reading a Stephen King book, then you are probably already expecting such things.

Reading this novel is like having an old friend tell you a compelling story on a cold, rainy night, when the power is out. There are certainly some terrifying moments, but at the end of it all, you can merely close the book, satisfied with the experience. “End of Watch” is a fitting conclusion to the trilogy and I would highly recommend it for this year’s reading list.

That’s it for today.  Until next time, don’t forget to pour another cup of coffee and play yourself some music! Follow me on Twitter, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Social media is the latest/greatest political tool, and some candidates are better than others at harnessing its power. Should we be concerned that social media will provide a strategic advantage to certain types of political personalities, perhaps lowering the overall quality of political discourse?

If what Matt Lieberman says in his YouTube video, “Did Google Manipulate Search Results for Hillary?” is any indication, then we have every right to be concerned . If companies – or individuals in charge of the company, etc. – are taking it upon themselves to manipulate search results in favor of one candidate over the other, that could seriously affect the way people view that candidate.

Social media has the potential to produce the same type of situation. In fact, I find it most interesting that many politicians are dedicating at least nine percent of their campaign funds to social media (Fromm, 2016). The idea here is to cater to Millennials, which makes sense in a way.  I predict that the next election, in 2020, politicians will use significantly more of their budget to win over Millennials and others, through social media.

The fact of the matter is, we have over reliance upon social media for everything: Business, personal, recreational, etc.  Political affairs were only a hop, skip and a jump away from gaining prominence in the world of social media.

It is clear that in some instances, people in high places are attempting to use social media and search results to manipulate the people and the voters. There was even one instance before the primaries where an experiment was done that ended up swinging at least 48% of voters in one direction by exposing them to particular search results (Lieberman, 2016).

Due to the fact that many Millennials are now seeing social media as a way to keep up with politics (Fromm, 2016), I believe quite strongly that political discourse in the future will be vastly different from what I have known and from what it is today.

While Fromm’s ideas of participatory politics and ongoing conversations are excellent and it seems like they would work out quite well for us, I think that we’re still a long way from having a “perfect system” for political discourse via social media.

Another idea to consider is that ever since 2008, with the so called “facebook election” of Barack Obama (Carr, 2015), candidates have been taking to social media for the discussion of issues.  We need only glimpse at Donald Trump’s Twitter feed or Hillary Clinton’s debates over Facebook and Twitter with Rand Paul.  It’s interesting to see how many potential candidates are using social media for political discourse in this manner.
Does a social-media-only news diet provide adequate depth of information to enable effective participation in the political process?

I do not believe that a social media news only diets is effective enough to allow me to participate in politics – or anyone for that matter.  Much of what we receive via social media only news is heavily skewed to what we want to see.  At least this has been the case in my own personal social media feed.

Most of the time, I end up being inundated with an excessive amount of political information. This political information seems to be representative of the views of my friends, family or others whom I may be following on social media.

Occurrences such as this are extremely likely on Facebook and other social media sites, Where a series of history , algorithms, those you follow and much more coalesces into an entirely personal feed (Herrman, 2016).

On Facebook, you don’t have to worry about seeing something you don’t want to see . You can simply block it. On Twitter, it’s the same deal. You even have the ability on most social networking sites to not only personalize you, but also to block and report anything you disagree with. It gets quite weird at times.

However interesting that may be, it seems that many people actually get their news from sites like Reddit (Gottfried and Shearer, 2016). This in and of itself is kind of interesting to me.  I’m one of those people. I frequently use Reddit as a source for news, along with a few other sources.

In a study conducted by Pew Research Center, we get to see just how diverse and unique some of the services are compared to the others in their presentation of news and how people get that news (Gottfried and Shearer, 2016).  it turns out that people happen upon news more frequently through services like Instagram whereas they have to find it on services like Reddit.  If we translate this out to political news and news sources, there is appears to be a trend toward social media being a battleground for politicians.

All I ever seem to see in the news I get from social media is the dissemination of what one pundit or examiner or newsperson or whomever thinks about the political candidate they think I want to see.  It’s quite annoying and I feel bad for a future where social media outlets are where we get our political and other news.

Sources:

Lieberman, M.  (2016). Did Google manipulate search results for Hillary?” SourceFed. Retrieved from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PFxFRqNmXKg.

Fromm, J. (2016) New study finds social media shapes millennial political involvement and engagement. Forbes.

Carr, N. (2015) How social media is ruining politics. Politico. Retrieved from http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/09/2016-election-social-media-ruining-politics-213104.

Herrman, J. (2016). Inside facebook’s (totally insane, unintentionally gigantic, hyperpartisan) political-media machine. New York Times. Retrieved from http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/magazine/inside-facebooks-totally-insane-unintentionally-gigantic-hyperpartisan-political-media-machine.html?_r=0&referer=