Rolling Stones Online

Rolling Stone’s online magazine’s Home Page isn’t edgy or glitzy, it is attractive -functional organized simply in columns and rows with individual article’s legible titles easily noticed in compact square compartments.  It’s a menu that allows easy finds of articles that are interesting to the reader, and because it is online interesting links are included.

Considered an authority on Rock n’ Roll since its creation in the late 60’s, Rolling Stone magazine lengthened its interests with topics such as music, politics, movies, culture, reviews, artists and the contemporary blogs and video links.  These eight sections are easily discovered under the magazine’s large title.  Rolling Stone is a multi-interest magazine that includes in their recent issue a Mark Boal story on American soldiers that “murdered innocent civilians”and a reader choice survey of The Best Song of the Sixties.  Rolling Stones listed the top ten picks.  Number one was Bob Dylan’s 1965 hit “Like a Rolling Stone.”

In the Rolling Stone’s reader choice for 10 best songs of the sixties a brief bio not unlike an article written in the 60’s described the performer/band of each song, however; unlike the sixties, today each top ten choice can be complemented with a music video of the artists’s performing their art.  In the not too distant days before the internet, if one read an article about popular songs in a magazine it was a print magazine and the quickest option to hear a favorite song, that wasn’t in the reader’s collection, might have been a request on the local radio station.

Rolling Stone’s popular 10 song’s of the sixties article and the complementary performer videos isn’t cutting edge, but it is a good example of how technology enhances the reader’s appreciation of this article by allowing the immediate playing of the performers mentioned.  All the reader has to do is to hit the video’s play button and a great venue for enhancing the written word springs alive on a melody and a drum beat.  It hasn’t been that long since magazines were print only and “fancy” videos weren’t part of the print.

 

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Dead Movies

I enjoyed reading and appreciated learning from Mark Harris’s GQ article “The Day the Movies Died” because he offered insights to his claims that, “Hollywood has become an institution that is more interested in launching the next rubberized action figure than in making the next interesting movie.”

One of his insights is the reasonable suggestion he offers regarding the progression of the types of education that people entering the movie industry used; first he says there were students learning to be directors, then the MBA degreed entered with the guiding light philosophy, described by Scott Stuber’s quote, ” . . .the obligation of anyone in those studios is to help their company make a profit.”  According to Harris, people with marketing degrees then followed with a philosophy of ” . . . it’s about looking at what’s selling and then selling more of it.” (sounds typical for any business)

A second reason for the types of moves we see is Harris’s revelation that the majority of movie-goers are males under 25 years of age.  maybe harris is correct when he states that video game players and the “easily excitable junkie” are the audiences to please for financial success.

He does berate the absent move-goers that complain about the quality of movies.  His solution was for the complainers to watch the movies they think they will like in the theaters and not at home.  Possibly, another solution begins with the complainers making their own movies.  Could a few thousand of the complainers finance a story-driven movie they would like to see on the big screen? What would happen? Maybe after a couple of mildly successful years the initial investors earn a profit and hire MBA people to run their business, and as the owners move from their comfortable city homes to homes on acreages the inevitably hire markets that market what sells so that the newly wealthy complainers can buy mega yachts.  That is my own thought that creators of movies stop seeing their craft as means to a living, but to a means of creating wealth.

 

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Personal Profile

The struggling economy has trashed your sports money, so now you have to choose wisely where to spend your hard-earned cash budgeted for a big game.  Unfortunately, your dizzying work pace has left you forgetful of big sports events such as March Madness. Forgetful? March is also the month of your birthday. Go ask your mother about that date. But, for sports info, a great source is Andrew, sports enthusiast and blogger known as “The Mile High Sports Man.”

I asked Andrew a few questions about this upcoming weekend’s games, and his response left me asking about the following weekend.  The he asked me if I had heard of March Madness.  The choice of game(s) just turned easy. Andrew guided me toward the NCAA Basketball’s March Madness after he realized that the first couple of weekends in March did not offer the big game I craved.  He offered some brief information about March Madness such as the teams that might be playing in Denver.  Then for future reference he guided me toward his favorite sport’s website.  When your mind is frayed by work or responsibilities, it is helpful to have someone like the Sports Man.  His information and remembrance about the local sports action can be a great assist toward the decision where one’s sports money should be spent.

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Grey’s Anatomy – “The Golden Hour”

The Golden Hour, the time period in which many trauma patients can be saved if they receive definitive treatment.

In its seventh season, Grey’s Anatomy is an hour-long drama that entertains through the personal and professional lives of the medical staff at Seattle’s Grace Hospital. Each episode describes the dramatic emergency room experiences that occur in a large hospital’s emergency room and how each emergency is resolved by the capable staff.

1)  “The Golden Hour” a time of only sixty minutes and 3600 seconds, a lot can happen in an emergency room.  How does that compare to me idly consuming an hour of time watching the show?  I should have exercised, but I didn’t, instead I ate a sandwich and drank a beer.  It was a relaxing hour.

2) If television is our main storyteller, what story is it telling? That consumers tastes have changed from the days of sit-coms to realty shows that show danger such as The Ice Truckers and The deadliest Catch to showcasing America’s talent with American Idol. So producers and studios have to continually adapt when they plan the programming they hope viewers will enjoy and watch on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.

3)  Some of the products displayed were potato chips and soda as snacks.  The cultural messages were fertility drugs (bad side-effects of on following episode), restaurant dinners as avenues for a date, health care insurance, basketball’s Pac 10 and March Madness. What the producers of television shows are actually hoping to accomplish is to create a product, their show(s), that will attract an audience and eventual profit from sponsors that pay for commercials. It’s a business. One cultural message was exhibited through a patient that Dr. Grey believed displayed the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  The patient’s husband was adamant that nothing was wrong with his wife although Alzheimer’s disease is Dr. Grey’s focus of study.  The husband was the hospital’s chief resident.

4) The message this show tries to reinforce is a confirmation to people entering an ER that any treatment that is required for a life/limb saving resolution will be used.  Hospital staff will choose to err on the side of cautious as this episode hilariously proves when four doctors are discussing the risks of retracting a knife blade from a patient’s head when in the b.g. the patient’s drunk buddy pulls the knife out without any complications. I enjoy Grey’s Anatomy because I appreciate that the show’s actors have convinced me that they are medical professionals capable of handling the mental/physical chaos and crisis in an emergency room.  The procedures, the urgency to save life or limb, plus the realism of the surgeries on Grey’s Anatomy are awesome.

5) The thesis of “The Golden Hour” illustrates the extraordinary capabilities of a large hospital’s staff as it showcases one hour (3600 seconds), 1800-1900 on the hospital’s clock, during this Golden Hour a man with a knife protruding from his head is helped, a 4-year-old boy’s broken femur is set in a cast, a male patient complaining of migraines is saved as he suffers a stroke and dumps an uncaring girlfriend, the chief’s wife is treated for a broken wrist and she is also suspected of displaying Alzheimer’s disease qualities all while a bored/patient man, Oliver, good-naturedly endures multiple tests with hopes that one will determine his chest pains. Unfortunately, this time the staff loses and Oliver dies on the operating table from a ruptured aorta. He was outside of the golden hour.  Possibly, the author chose this subject because us mere mortals should be impressed and amazed about the life and limb saving capabilities of a large hospital.  Dr. Grey narrates as her character talks to Oliver’s wife, “An hour, one hour can change everything, forever.”

6) Grey’s anatomy appeals to me because it has developed like-able characters that portray realistic lives and skills of a large hospital’s medical staff.  But, maybe the show offers comfort to people that whenever a medical emergency arises that there really are professionals that can help.  Sometimes, all they need is an hour.

7) According to our text the majority of Grey’s anatomy audience consists of women over 35 years of age. The commercials were from Geico Insurance, Dove deodorant, Zyrtec Liquid Gels, 5 Hour Energy, Hyundai and Allure Beauty products. Allure, Dove and 5 Hour Energy used actresses exclusively.

8) As a group the characters act like the type of people I would like to know.  I believe that a story can’t be successful if there isn’t at least one character that a reader or viewer cares about.

9) I do not like reality shows, golf, tennis, bowling or soaps.

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Colorado Public Radio – Colorado Matters

Colorado Matters is a Public Radio program whose web site claims that they are ” . . . focusing on state’s peoples, issues and ideas. . .”  Their February 16, 2011 article is an informative and heart warming story about 25 mistreated lions that are to be transported from Bolivia to Colorado.  Colorado has room for 25 lions? And, okay I need to check the map to remember where Bolivia is.  As I search for Bolivia I still want to know where Colorado will keep 25 lions.  I return to Colorado Matters after I relearn that Bolivia borders western Brazil.

Colorado Matters Ryan Warner interviewed Shawn Finkenbinder, of Wild Animal Sanctuary, which is the destination of the 25 lions. Shawn Finkenbinder stated proudly that Wild Animal Sanctuary has set aside acreage for the 25 lions.  Okay, I just learned of a new, gotta-visit site from Colorado matters, there is a large wild animal sanctuary less than an hours drive northeast of Denver.  But, why are 25 lions coming to Denver?

Apparently, an undercover operation by Animal Defenders International proved to the Bolivian government that animals are mistreated in Bolivian Circuses.  The Bolivian government passed the first law ever that outlawed animals in circuses.  So, what was the mistreatment of the lions? That question is answered as Shawn explained that the lions were housed in small cages, some of the lions were never allowed out of small transport cages, and eight full-grown lions were housed in a small feces covered trailer.  As I wrote earlier Wild Animal Sanctuary has set aside acreage, comfortable, clean acreage for the 25 lions.  I was not surprised to hear that breeding is not part of Wild Animal Sanctuary’s operation.  They do not wish to increase the population of wild animals kept in captivity.

In four eye-opening minutes Colorado Matters informed me of Animal Defenders International, that as their name suggests travels worldwide in search of wild animals abused in captivity and then finding new home for the abused animals that are safe and comfortable.  Their article not only expanded my view of wild animal abuse and the organizations dedicated to helping them, they made me feel proud of the Coloradans that were operating the Wild Animal Sanctuary.

An NPR article about a local sanctuary that houses mistreated wild animals should engage the curious and the animal-lover to visit the sanctuary.  Mentioned in the “Lions from Bolivia” story was that it cost $8000.00 a month to house and feed one lion  The sanctuary’s admission fee of $10 is reasonable when one considers that over 220 animals of mixed species including big cats, bears and wolves are cared for.  The sanctuary covers 320 acres.

I thought Colorado Matter’s “Lions from Bolivia” was a great article because it informed me of an international dilemma and told of a local facility that was crucial in relieving cruelty to wild animals held in captivity.

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Colorado Public Radio – All Things Considered

Linda Wertheimer interviewed Cambridge researcher Lisa Maher on Lisa’s recent article “A Unique Human-Fox Burial from a Pre-Natufian Cemetery in the Levant (Jordan).” Associated with Cambridge University in England, Lisa Maher describes in her recent article a pre-historic burial site that contains a red fox skeleton.

At apx. 16,000 years old, this site predates the known domestication of animals.  Plus, a fox as pet is contrary to the common belief that man’s best friend was domesticated from wolves.  That possible contrary discovery certainly makes a worthy story, but I believe that Linda Wertheimer made a mistake during the interview when she made the comment that the seasonal hunter/gatherers that lived in the Levant at the time of the human/fox burial were domesticating foxes as pets, versus Lisa Maher’s twice spoken clarification that a fox as a pet was one of many possibilities that could explain why a fox had been buried with a human.  Linda did prove her knowledge of the subject when she asked Lisa if the fox could have been a totemic animal.   Cambridge researcher Lisa did explain why the fox as pet hypothesis is one of the possibilities because the fox skeleton was laid to rest with its human counterpart in a manner that suggests attachment of the animal to one human.

This was an interesting interview and story (I searched Plos one to read the entire article), NPR placed too strong an attachment to the fox as a pet hypothesis.

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Journalism 105 – Independent Record Producers

Located in Bailey, Colorado, Capri Records is a small independent producer of jazz and blues CDs.  Two of its noted musicians are local saxophonist, Keith Oxman and trumpeter, Ron Miles. Both of these musicians are music instructors in local schools.

An examination of Capri Record’s home page finds an “artists list” with fifty-four artists mentioned and links included that lead to each artist’s CD recordings.    I followed each artist’s link and learned that two of the performers have been nominated for a Grammy in the past. But only one, a young woman, offered links from her personal site to FaceBook and Youtube.  In addition, Capri’s online store offered only CDs for sale.  They do not allow the purchase of single songs from any of the collections nor do they offer previews of any songs.

In contrast, independent record producer Matador Records offers CDs, mp3’s of single songs, and some of artists offer 30-second previews of their songs.

What Capri Records does give to their community is the opportunity for local jazz and blues musicians to record standard jazz tunes and original compositions onto quality CDs. A major producer of records would not offer that.  It is fortunate for musicians and their fans that independent labels will produce the smaller number of CDs that a local musician can sell. That is the importance and value that independent labels offer to the community.  If Capri Records can afford the technology that allows for single-song sales and the previewing of each song then they should do so because then listeners-especially new listeners that like just one song-will broaden an artists fan base one song at a time.

 

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