All Things Comedy

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My favorite blog to check out is The Laugh Button, which covers all news regarding comedy and famous comedians. The site posts news about comedic shows on television and online which keeps its readers up to date. This website is innovative because it’s a news source concentrated on comedy, which (at least to my knowledge) hasn’t been done before. News regarding comedy is usually covered by a source that has a widespread of things to cover where a reader can read the headline and then move on. But on this site, we are told about upcoming shows and revivals all in one spot so the clicking doesn’t have to stop. Comedy new doesn’t seem like it could be constantly active but the site has included many more articles that you wouldn’t normally  perceive as comedy. For example, Sunday night was the MTV movie awards and, as seen in the picture above, the site covered winners who fall under the genre comedy in this article and included short clips of the actors and actresses from the award show. The site also features videos that audiences are interested in but wouldn’t normally find on their usual news source, such as the Neighbors 2 Red Band trailer or a video about Mindy Tucker’s Women In Comedy Senior Class Photo.

The blog covers more than just news. It has a podcast which has different hosts each week and guests–including comedian Cameron Esposito. The Laugh Button also has an online store where you can not only purchase apparel but create a piece of clothing as well! This allows users to be exposed and have other people who share the same interests check out their work. In addition, the blog has a tab called “Stand Up” which includes clips of stand up, and photos and news regarding standup on The Laugh Button’s stand up show, “The Half Hour” and stand up on other places too, like Comedy Central. The blog features a wide variety of Interviews to watch and read as well. There is a tab called “Features” which includes many things to check out such as photos, twitter reviews, Comedy 101 (guides about comedy and how to land a laugh), contests, and much more. The Laugh Button offers so much content to view and read regarding comedy. It’s more convenient for people who are interested in all things comedy to visit this site because everything mainstream that I would want to know is on this site as well as new content from comedians I’ve never heard of. And the blog is updated every day since there are news articles about current events posted the day after the event happens, if not the day of.

As for the aesthetic of the site, it’s very easy to use and navigate. As seen in the picture above, the first thing you see on the site are articles and videos that are very hot at the moment and as you scroll down, there are news and suggested videos to watch. Every set of words is paired with a picture to keep the visitor intact and the other content that isn’t on the homepage is very easy to access through the tabs.

Overall, The Laugh Button is one of my favorite blogs to visit since it satisfies my thirst for knowing what’s going on in the comedy world and I would definitely recommend it to people who have a love of comedy as well.

All Things Comedy

“Enamórate” Music Video

The song played throughout the video is the English version of “Enamórate” by DVicio and it’s about falling in love over and over again. The band DVicio is a Spanish pop group founded in January 2013. The narrator of the song explains how he lost his love and he questions how they fell apart. He says he that he could fall in love with her again and how he waits for the day to start their relationship again. Essentially, the clips are what he’s remembering: the love that he is willing to fight for again.

I chose to use clips from romantic comedy films because they follow a pattern of falling in love again despite the conflicts that arise. During the opening verse, I used clips where the two love interests are talking to each other within the first stage of their relationship. While some movies begin with the love interests disliking each other like Clueless (1995), most start with the two people instantly hitting it off. They indulge in the honeymoon period where everything seems perfect and nothing could go wrong. This period of time where everything is bliss and you don’t know the horrors of the other person is what the narrator misses. The lyrics “It was so beautiful, you were so beautiful next to me. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about our love” are memories that are depicted by a character admiring the other in the clips. Some of the clips, like the one I chose from 500 Days of Summer (2009), accurately captures this feeling of complete bliss when you’re with the one you love. Tom and Summer are pretending to be husband and wife in their “home”, made up of the different room displays in IKEA. They get so into the role-play and being with each other that they forget that they are in a store until they notice the Asian family watching them. Forgetting where you are and what you’re doing is exactly what the narrator of the song wants to get back to. He craves that time where nothing mattered except their love, and everything seemed so perfect that he wouldn’t change a thing.

For the chorus of the song, I chose clips that showed love in a private, intimate way like kissing or dancing. During the “Enamóra-“ part, I inserted a clip of the sparks that happen between two people holding hands depicted in Playing it Cool (2014) because that spark is what you want to initiate falling in love again. In the English version, the chorus is kept in Spanish and the line “Enamórate, te, te otra vez” translates into “Fall in love, you, you again”. The physical sensations that are associated with love, such as kissing, dancing, and sex, are what we identify most with when we remember being in love. The conversations and spending time together (as we saw in the clips during the first verse) are equally as important and missed, but the intimacy in the physical things is also what the narrator craves. Another part of the chorus translates into “touch with your fingers, the sea water, your body with my body”. The intimacy that’s achieved with the physical activities adds a layer of affection to the relationship and we can see that the narrator wants a second chance at the intimacy he once had.

The second verse has clips that show the part of the relationship where everything went wrong. Somehow a huge disagreement occurs and the couples break out into arguments and fights. Sometimes it leads to saying goodbye forever and as the narrator questions, “How did we fall apart?” it makes you wonder what decision or step led to all the fighting and eventually the separation of the couple.

But when the song gets back the chorus, I chose to repeat the same clips as if the narrator is remembering what it’s like to be in love one more time before he finally takes action, which is the bridge. For the bridge, I chose clips of one character running to embrace or kiss the other and clips of the two in the rain. Usually clips of running or rain mean that one person seeks redemption and forgiveness. And in the case of all these films, the characters make up and are together again. The clips I chose for the last chorus are not the ones I used before, but instead they are clips from the final scenes of the movie where the conflict has resolved and the movie ends with a kiss between the two characters that have fallen in love again. This part of the relationship is what the narrator is actively striving for so he can be in love with his significant other again.

It was very fun to make this music video montage for this song. The English version is not a direct translation of the song, so you can find what the words literally mean here. To listen to the song in its original Spanish, click here. Hope you enjoyed the song and my video!

“Enamórate” Music Video

Oral History, for today and forever

When writing an essay, the author will most likely consider many different types of resources, but to build their work on a reliable foundation, an author will probably pick a written source to cite over oral history. It’s obvious that written documents are more reliable than oral history due to the many factors are involved: things could get lost in translation, a part may be forgotten, or the information isn’t edited or filterered. An oral account of events is raw, probably biased, and very individualized– but that’s what it makes it such a great source.

Despite its many potential errors, oral history has been passed down centuries after centuries and it has an emotional appeal that people identify with. An example of oral history is interviews and (unless it’s scripted) all of the reactions are raw and initial reactions. The time between a question and an answer can’t be too long so the answers have to be truthful. When people are genuine in their reactions, people can connect more easily to what they’re saying. Today, everything seems so fabricated and produced to evoke a certain reaction, so it’s difficult to tell where the truth actually is. When we are presented with a source that is truthful and real, there’s something more human about it. For instance, audiences relate more to a celebrity when they make guest appearances on talk shows and come across as very conversational and casual, because it seems they are being truthful. If a celebrity declines an interview, or address their fans with written announcements or press releases, we feel so disconnected. Jennifer Lawrence, a rising young actress, is loved by so many fans because what she says seems like it’s the first thing she thought of. No filtering, no influence from her publicist. Watching an interview with her feels like you’re listening to your best friend talk, which makes her so likable.

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Even though it seems frivolous, these interviews are apart of history. When teens go to school and talk about her to their friends, Jennifer Lawrence is becoming more and more apart of our history. The more she’s talked about or the more we share the story of her falling at the Oscars (which can be found here), the more she gets imbedded into our memories as a famous actress. Of course there will be endless articles, videos, and pictures of her online, but what triggers all of those sources are the fans who talk about it out loud first.

Oral history is so important for our generation who has essentially grown up in front of a screen. Every thought could be recorded with the use of the Internet, but we continue to pass down stories through each other because we value sharing information aloud. The connection we make with each other when we share a story or fact is something that can’t be achieved with written sources. Therefore, oral history is a source we should continue to use and not undermine.

Oral History, for today and forever

Our Schools Need..

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After watching the video “What Most Schools Don’t Teach”, it brought me back to the days in high school where teachers would explain to the students how much education has changed. Instead of teaching skills and concepts students need to succeed, the school curriculum has changed to “teach to the test” and teachers’ jobs were at risk if overall performance declined. Therefore, teachers began to cover only the material needed for whatever state exam or quarterly that was coming up. Students began to fall into the pattern of absorbing everything for the exam and then immediately forgetting it all when the exam was over. Education was no longer accumulative; it was learning how to be a sponge.

I strongly believe that instead of teaching to get better test scores or to increase the ranking of the school, schools should require students to take skill based classes that would prepare them for any career. Coding is a skill that I wish I had, and in a world that’s full of technology I feel handicapped. Just knowing the basics can make you more desirable as a job prospect because you’re more likely to learn faster and already interested.

Lately, there have been PSAs for girls in schools to pursue their interests in the science and math field (watch one here). The belief that girls should’t be interested in science or math and that they should leave it to the boys is absolutely ridiculous. This push for girls are just as smart and should be inspired to pursue their interests, despite being outnumbered, is setting education to head in the right direction. Check out this video of girls teaching a couple of guys how to code: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5Vzo-iPGCo

No matter what profession students want to pursue, coding is going to be vital to know, like the video said. If you want to start your own business, you should know coding yourself to make your own website instead of hiring an outside party to do it. It’s not enough nowadays to market through radio/tv commercials, flyers, signs, etc. There’s an entire world online that can reach a much bigger audience and coding can create programs or apps that can help you further succeed. Just like knowing how to use Microsoft became a requirement for jobs, coding will soon become mandatory in all fields.

In addition to coding, I think public speaking is another skill schools should include as a requirement. Giving presentations or any type of speech in front of an audience is frightening, and it’s not a skill most students easily gain after doing it once or twice in class. It’s only with more practice and learning different techniques that students will gain the confidence and charisma they need to persuade a group of people. Another basic skill that my school actually required a course in was financial fitness. Knowing how to balance a checkbook or investing your money is vital for life after college. I believe these skills are a handful of the necessary skills students need nowadays to be successful and schools should most definitely implement them in their curriculum.

 

Our Schools Need..

Why bother to blog?

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While reading Andrew Sullivan’s essay “Why I blog” I came across two statements that were very thought provoking and thought needed some discussion. As Sullivan said, blogging has created the concept of daily journalism; a non stop publication of news, opinions, and sources. Blogging is revolutionary in sharing opinions and I think the following quotes encapsulate what blogging essentially needs to accomplish and answers the question “Why Blog?”:

“But a blog, unlike a diary, is instantly public. It transforms this most personal and retrospective of forms into a painfully public and immediate one.”

The fact that blog posts can be published within instants and is available for anyone to read brings back the raw material that readers crave for. Blog posts are initial reactions that show truth and aren’t influenced by second guessing or editors who are reading the piece before printing/publishing, like a professional company. There are only two entities involved in blogging: the reader and the author. So what the author writes is completely his or her own thoughts and it’s up to the reader to react as the first pair of eyes, other than the author’s, to look at the post. I believe this is what makes blogging so attractive because there isn’t much editing involved. It’s a simple “write and post” process and not much filtering is involved. The author can be truthful through their form, content, and opinion and readers can relate first-hand. It’s like eating cookies that came straight out the oven: fresh and better than the others that have been sitting outside. Blogs are new and fresh, and more relevant than a two-week old newspaper article.

“the key to understanding a blog is to realize that it’s a broadcast, not a publication. If it stops moving, it dies. If it stops paddling, it sinks.”

This is another important factor of a blog: it’s nonstop. If you want readers to stay attentive, then you must give your blog a lot of attention and constantly post. The entire world is online and at least one person is online, thus an author who is active is necessary. The blogging world is a never-ending process of post and react, so once the author stops posting, the blog stops stops generating traffic. Although it’s good to be constantly thinking and writing, it poses the question of “when do bloggers take a break?” Is blogging a job you can’t take a vacation from? Or do we just take it on our vacation with us? You can write about anything anywhere, but everyone needs a break sometime or we begin to overwork ourselves. Is there such a thing as posting too much as a blogger?

Perhaps that’s the joy in being a blogger–that you’re job never stops. As long as the world keeps turning, an author can write about anything. Even people who have retired in their professional lives can blog from their home to keep their minds working. I found a blog where two elderly women, Margaret and Helen, write to each other about things that interest them. They’ve been best friends for sixty years and you can check out their stories here.

With all of the ups and downs, twists and turns in life, a blog can be the one constant thing that never ends. Of course the content or opinions might change but as long as the Internet stays alive, anyone can be a blogger and they will never be forced to stop writing.

 

Why bother to blog?

We <3 Technology

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“We decided that the movie wasn’t about technology, or if it was, that the technology should be invisible,” says KK Barrett, production designer of the movie “Her”. From I’ve seen in the trailer and what’s described in the article, technology in the future becomes somewhat invisible and integrated in normal objects. Even though the AI is somewhat like a robot for Theo, it’s represented in a “art deco cigarette case”. If the AI was made into a life-size robot and followed him around, the technology would have a different effect in the movie. Technology in the world of “Her” isn’t obnoxious and constantly present; it’s just advanced.

This way, Theo can fall in love with the AI and it’s totally okay because at some times, you feel as though it’s a person too. The way it asks questions and wants to know more of the world seems like it has thoughts and feelings like a real human being. This reminds me of the Disney Channel Original Movie “Pixel Perfect” where 16 year old Roscoe makes a holographic rock star to help bring his friend Sam’s band to fame. The hologram’s name is Loretta and they address several times in the movie that she is an individual and has her own thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Eventually, Roscoe starts developing feelings for Loretta and ignores Sam’s affection for him until he realizes that Loretta is in fact not real.

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This idea that a program can have it’s own mind and can be fallen in love with is incorporated in countless movies. It makes me wonder why Hollywood and media in general promotes this trend of falling in love with the unreal. In “Her”, Theo finds it hard to be social after a bad divorce and connects more with Samantha than with real people. Is it possible that subconsciously we are losing the ability to connect with other people? Perhaps technology is getting in the way of making these connections. Many people turn to online dating to find a match for them, so instead of talking to someone to find out your shared interests, a program does it for you. Obviously this way is more efficient and expands the range possible matches from the people in your immediate area, but maybe there’s something about striking up a conversation with a complete stranger in your grocery store that creates a stronger connection. Nowadays, there seems to be a social stigma of talking to strangers in real life because the online seems so much safer. You can click away, unlatch, or block someone you don’t like anymore.

Maybe that’s our issue: we are too scared to be vulnerable with others, so we turn to technology. Technology can’t break our hearts or date our exes, so it’s the safer option. It’s easier to fall in love with something that can’t hurt you, and Hollywood feeds into that idea when it produces movie after movie about a romance between AI and a human being. Subconsciously, we all don’t want to go through the pain that a lover can put us through. But we can’t depend on the warmth from technology forever–we have to be able to break that barrier eventually.

We <3 Technology

To Trust or Not to Trust Wikipedia?

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I remember reading a piece about classroom education from my Expository book last semester by Cathy Davidson, the same author of “We Can’t Ignore the Influence of Digital Technologies”. So to confirm that it was the same author, I googled her name and the first link I clicked was Cathy Davidson’s Wikipedia page. I didn’t realize until I read her piece how much I rely on Wikipedia for information. We were told since elementary school to never use any form of Wikipedia as a resource because it wasn’t reliable since there were so many different authors. But wouldn’t a source that is constantly updated be the most reliable source of information? It’s more a process to correct a scholarly resource that’s published compared to correcting a Wikipedia page.

Davidson also points out that she uses Wikipedia at the very start of her research: “I find that I often go to Wikipedia for a quick and easy references before heading into more scholarly depths”, which is what is should be used for. I think Wikipedia is a great secondary source that suffices for a quick research. I don’t think you should use it if you need to go in-depth because it only covers the tip of the iceberg of information. Trace Dominguez addresses if Wikipedia is a credible source in his video here:

In the video, Trace mentions how at USCF they will soon allow med students to edit Wikipedia pages for a grade. The fact that there are multiple, educated authors and people constantly editing the page shows how updated Wiki is. Schools shouldn’t ban this site because it promotes the work of many authors who have a great interest in what the page is about. Maybe when I was in grade school, there weren’t as many people who cared or edited the Wikipedia pages, but now the kids who grew up with the early stages of Wikipedia are now older and care enough to fix it. Because the site uses scholarly sources to write their pages, the site can be a good foundation for academic papers.

Moreover, I agree with how Davidson describes how education should be like losing yourself in one source and hours later your realize that you’re gotten so in-depth into something totally different from your initial Wikipedia search. Schools should be promoting sources like Wikipedia that lead to getting so deep into a subject. That means there’s passion and curiosity, which is hard to generate in students. The reason why most students want to use Wikipedia is because it’s so accessible and the information is organized so that it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. And every page is the same format, so users feel accustomed and comfortable with the site.

When I’m looking up how much a movie made or the reason why a band broke up, my instant reaction is to find the answer on Wikipedia. But when I have to find the difference between a gluten tolerance and a gluten allergy for my Food and Health class, I have to sift through sites I’m not familiar with and eventually forget the question all together. Wikipedia is faster and mostly reliable (with good judgement), so it should be available in schools for general information.

 

 

 

 

To Trust or Not to Trust Wikipedia?