My New Favorite Travel Blog

To this day I am still not much of a blogger. I am still not sure what is considered a great blog. But to me, a great blog has lots of great visuals that keep the reader interested in the topic of the blog. When reading a blog I look for an escape of some type. That is why out of every genre of blogs, travel blogs are my favorite. I came across many great candidates but what it came down to was the simplicity of the site. When blogs have complicated websites I find it hard to stay interested. The blog, My Life’s a Trip, by photographer Jen Pollack Bianco, really caught my eye. Because the creator of this blog is a photographer she keeps the reader fascinated by all the photos she has taken from her travels across the world. My dream is when I’m older that I can afford to go traveling to exotic places and experience new cultures, foods, and music. She livens up her blog by being able to take the reader with her to the places she travels. By looking at her pictures, it feels like you were there. She explores the many activities one can do in the places she travels.

In a blog post she writes about her travels to Stockholm and Sweden, here are some of her pictures.

Her pictures vary from, scenery to food, to the people livingthere to even her own personal selfies of herself while on her travels. Her blog is colorful and sophisticated but personal in a way that doesn’t sound like a diary. Essentially I am living my dream of traveling through this blog. So what makes this blog different then the others? I believe that this blog is different because it is a multi-media traveling blog. Its very visually appealing and has links to various sites to make the site more interesting and complex.

What makes this blog exciting is that the blogger, Jen, has traveled to places I have never heard of. This site does not only show me the places I want to travel to but give me insight to amazing new places.


These pictures look like they were taking on some typical beaches but they were actually taken in Mnemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Tanzania is located in Africa and I never imagined that Tanzania islands could look like that. Most people if they want to go to an island they think of the Caribbean, but why not just expand your horizons and go to a beach in on the Zanzibar Islands of Tanzania.

Jen’s blog is just refreshing and it allows me to explore without actually going anywhere.

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My New Favorite Travel Blog

My New Favorite Blog

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Looking at gymnastics blogs is just one way in which I get the latest gymnastics news, read up on my favorite athletes, and find new ways to make my own blog interesting.  While there are many blogs out there that all discuss the same news, they all provide unique perspectives on every issue, and sometimes completely different views of the same information.  While Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr are filled with people who love the sport and share information, the best features and information often comes from the numerous blogs that cover gymnastics.  My new favorite is a blog called Triple Twist.

This blog, while not the most active blog to be found, has amazing, in depth arguments, fun features on athletes, fun posts such as “Leotard Police” and fun lists and insight on the most prominent figures in the sports.  One particularly fun series of posts are the journals from Elena Arenas, a gymnast who just finished her first season as a junior elite. This is such original content, and you can tell the love of the sport is evident in what they post (which is what is most important!). They go above and beyond other gym blogs to find unique stories that you can’t find other places online.

Another stable of this blog are the lists Ashlee and Brittany compile.  You find lists all of over their blog, ranging from lists of the most anticipated Freshman in NCAA Gymnastics, to Top College Floor Routines.  They do a great job of ranking these routines in an un-bias way, while explaining their choices.  If you disagreed with some of their choices, their careful word choice can convert any doubter.  These lists, which of course include videos of each routine make it easy to form your own opinions and have conversations with the bloggers.

My favorite feature of the their blog are the interesting interviews they conduct with influential people in the sport of gymnastics.  Over the years, Ashlee and Brittany have interviewed Olympians such as Teodora Ungureanu, the 1976 Gold Medallist with the Romanian Team and most recently coach of 2011 World Champion Sabrina Vega, 2008 Olympic All Around Champion Nastia Liukin, 2004 Olympic All Around Champion Carly Patterson, 2007 World All Around Champion Shawn Johnson, and my personal favorite, visiting 2011 World All Around Champion Jordyn Wieber in her gym as she trains for the 2013 National Championships.  This unique feature gives great insight to what goes on inside an elite gym on a day to day basis.

The layout of this blog is simple.  The colors and fonts are basic and easy to read.  You don’t have to strain yourself to figure out what is being said.  There are many easy to navigate pages, that break down and organize the posts.  There is a page for each aspect of their blog, one for Written Features, Video Features, Interviews, Photographs, Contests they hold, and a contact page.

I really enjoy this blog because they provide great, unique content, in a organized, easy to read, easy to navigate format.

My New Favorite Blog

The island without sunshine.

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For this blog post professor Shehata told us to find something that we find interesting and write a post on it. So I thought to myself said, “I like food, I like music, and I like my culture.” so then it clicked and I knew I should do this post about Puerto Rico! Becauseimageswhere else was I going to find the perfect mix of Food, Culture, and Music. So I began my search of blogs at first all I was finding were blogs about where to travel to in Puerto Rico and yea that’s interesting but I have my own personal travel guide on the island, which is my cousin Juangui. He does a really great job of showing me the hang out spots. After about an hour of search I found this blog called “El Boricua.”

 

imgres-2      This Blog caught my attention because it had everything I was looking for. It has thousands of Puerto Rican food recipes that got me thinking about getting home in time for dinner that night. There are tons of archives on the culture of Puerto Rico that explains the mixture of the races that took place on the island to make Puerto Ricans who they are today. They shared links of popular traditional music from Puerto Rico. The authors of this Blog are bringing everything that is important about Puerto Rico into one huge database essentially. I would highly recommend the website to anyone who has question on the subject of Puerto Rico because I’m sure they will find the answer.

 

Even though this a low budget Blog and it does have great articles about the food, music, and culture I wish it had more .I wish it talked about how Puerto Rico is an island that has never really able to experience independence. Yes you can say it was Independent when the Tainos lived there. (Tainos are the indigenous people of Puerto Rico.) But after that the island and the people have never been free. Spain was the first country to colonize Puerto Rico in 1493. This is where Christopher Columbus earned his bragging rights toimages-1claim he did such great things and discovered “America.” but the facts are his people came to the island and robbed it of its gold and natural resources. Then when all the Profit that could be made off the island was taken the Spanish left leaving behind an army in San Juan and used it as a military fort in the Caribbean to control the trade in the region. They were the people who brought slaves, diseases, violence, and rape to the island. Then decades later in 1897 after millions of political arguments, failed revolutions, exploitation, and lives lost. The Spanish crown grants Puerto Rico Autonomy giving them the right to vote and trade to other countries legally with out Spanish Permission.

 

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Only a year later this all thrown away when the United States invades in 1898 changing everything the country had worked for. The Website also fails to tell us about how the United States forced democracy on island in poverty. Yes it worked but as we know or (should know) companies and the economy is going to rely on where they can make the most profit. In other terms they want the people who will work for the cheapestimages-4labor. In the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s these people so happened to be in Puerto Rico. The government of Puerto Rico combined with the government of the United States made a bunch of decisions that would attract investment from the United States. (Operation Bootstrap) The plan worked but not for long peaking in the 50s Puerto Rico found its self in the same economic slump in the 70s that it was in the 1920s. Today Puerto Rico’s economic situation is still a huge problem for the island and still them US government brushes it off. It really upsets me that people are clueless to this side of the story. In a lot of peoples mind Puerto Rico is an island where you can vacation and maybe find a wife if you’re lucky.

 

However the reality is that Puerto Rico has fallen victim to a vicious cycle of colonialism and for one I think it needs to end people have no right of treating someone else as an inferior. Some may say that Puerto Rico needs the United States to stay a float but lookimages-2 where that has gotten them so far. The debt Puerto Rico has is to big to pay back, the murder rate is through the roof, and drug lords use the island as safe heaven to easily traffic drugs on to main land USA. In conclusion all I want to say is Puerto Rico has never seen independence and they should get a chance to have that independence because the island is full of students, and scholars that can run that country and it’s a shame they have never gotten the opportunity to run it for them selves.

(Lyrics to the song are in spanish But Calle 13 is speaking on how the FBI murdered Filiberto Rios a Puerto Rican nationalist that believed that Puerto Rico should be an independent country.)

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The island without sunshine.

My favorite blog

PolkadotLike many people in this class, I never took a special interest in blogging or reading blogs before this semester. I would sometimes click on links to specific blog posts that were shared on Facebook, but I never read a blog religiously. However, I ran into one blog a few months ago that I spent a few hours lost in because it was so fascinating. I love to travel, guaranteed I haven’t been too many places. I think it would be better for me to say that I love the idea of traveling. Looking at pictures and watching movies that take place in various parts of the world makes me excited for the day where I’m not crippled by paying tuition and can afford to travel all over. Until then, I’ll take going to a different country every few years that my dad offers. Anyway, my family and I are going on vacation to Greece this summer and I was looking up different fun things to do while in Greece, which is when I ran into the blog I mentioned Earlier.

Polka Dot Passport is a travel blog ran by an Australian photographer named Nicole Easterby (Nicola). She writes about places she has travelled firsthand and what the best things to do there are. The only issue is that she hasn’t been to every country and therefore her blog posts of travel tips specific to certain destinations (Greece, Croatia, Australia, the USA, Africa, Spain, Italy, and a few more) wouldn’t necessarily be useful. However, she doesn’t only write about certain locations. She also blogs about general travel tips and products that she uses for traveling tat could be applicable for any traveler going to any destination.

Perhaps my favorite thing to look at on this blog are the photos. She takes such great pictures and I actually do follow her Instagram account where she posts all of them. That is what drew me in, it’s amazing that she takes such great pictures just with her iPhone. She even has a great corresponding article that gives tips on how to take pictures in the same way she does and she reveals the apps that she uses to edit her pictures.

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This blog’s best feature in my opinion is how attainable she makes traveling and photography seem. She has many articles that give tips on how to travel places for a small amount of money and how to make it possible. It’s really inspiring and motivational for people who feel like they can’t travel because it’s too expensive or too complicated. She simplifies things.

My favorite blog

Cake Wrecks (my new favorite blog)

I actually was not really into blogging until I began to take this course. On that tangent, I have never really explored the world of blogs and, thus, have never found a blog I was really passionate about or avidly followed. The only social media I use are facebook and snapchat, and neither of those really qualify as blogs. IMG_6380

In order to complete this post, because I did not start blogging until this semester, I began to research just general lists of blogs. I searched through all different kinds of reports and lists, comparing and contrasting all the blogs I could find. The one thing I kept finding is that, at least in terms of subject matter, there is a tendency towards lack of originality; but this is expected. There is a lot to talk about in the world, but there are also enough blogs to cover every subject matter at least four times. So, I began to be intrigued by the most obscure blogs; ones whose subject matter could not be found anywhere else.

Throughout my research, my favorite blog ended up being a blog by the name of Cake Wrecks. Why? Well, because of its absolute obscurity. This blog is compelling, innovative, and different.

Cake Wrecks presents images of cakes for all different events that were prepared abysmally followed by witty captions. The biggest intrigue in this, at least to me, was the way in which the publisher of the blog uses these “cake wrecks” as a means of suggesting ways to avoid this and ideas on making your own cakes (so you do not have to suffer through the mistakes of chain-store screw-ups).

Cake Wrecks is compelling because it is absolutely ridiculous; how did the author acquire all these images of terrible cakes? where are the captions derived from? It is innovative because it uses something funny to educate its readers on ways to bake. As opposed to just being another website about baking, its a website about weird looking cakes, but it uses this subject to teach its readers. Lastly, Cake Wrecks is different because no where else will you find a blog on ugly cakes.

There are a lot more intellectual blogs in the world, ones which are much more thought provoking or provide a lot more information than captions and links, but I really admire Cake Wrecks for what they do.

10710906-26281510-thumbnailI found a lot of other blogs that intrigued me and connected to me a lot more than Cake Wrecks does, but most of them followed the same general format and were unoriginal to an extent.

We have looked at a lot of blogs throughout this semester and I have admired them all. I think they all probably have a lot more to offer than Cake Wrecks does. However, I am not changing my decision. Cake Wrecks has become my favorite blog (at least for today) in that it is just strange enough to be enjoyable.

I urge you all to take a look at this blog. It will most definitely not aid in any acquisition of intelligence but, it is most definitely creative enough to have kept me entertained and intrigued. I am sure not many will agree, but I personally feel that it is exceptionally original, compelling, innovative, and most definitely different.

Cake Wrecks (my new favorite blog)

The art of language and voice

The scream of loud powerful voices echo throughout time. Whether it be from the respected Martin Luther King marching down Washington and delivering his famous speech, or the less respected hitler, commanding a crowd of millions to submit under his harsh rule, these historical figures have managed to make a dent in the human timeline through their voice, and the ideas that those voices carried. This paired with their mannerisms, such as how they walk, their choice of wording when speaking, the way the dress, how they get their hair done, and even their body language all work in unity, and help to paint an overall picture of them that will forever be imprinted in the record books. It’s an art to be able to gracefully control words in such a way that corresponds with ones own voice and identity.

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Legends whose names have stood the test of time like Mahatma Gandhi, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and Alexander the great could all be considered masters of their own voice. They have all been noted for their ability to not only define and make sense of the world through ideologies and philosophies, but also in their ability to act on those ideas, through voice. Through words they can convey intentions, represent feeling and emotions, ponder about the universe and present questions to the public that tackle society and human nature. When manipulated, words can also be used to demand respect, and have the ability to cast fear and dread through threats and verbal intimidation. Words have the power to reach where physical things cannot. They can reach deep into the human core, and can help to unveil the truths of society, humanity, and life in general.

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Words, the sentences that make sense of them, and having complete control over ones voice, all are various forms of art. Art is the expression or application of human creative skill or imagination. Poetry fits this definition of art in the different ways it presents itself: haikus and rap, riddles, ballads, free verse and sonnet. Voice is an art when intentional seductiveness and playing verbal physiological mind games through come into play. Being able to stay calm and composed, thinking about the person or people your confronting, and saying things that stump that person or persons, which leaves them defenseless and open to strike requires skill, tact, creativity and imagination (quickly thinking about future events and scenarios that could play out).

Art takes many forms and people throughout history have helped to show how speech is no exception. Speech can be manipulated, controlled, given hidden meanings, phrase ideas and concepts and they travel through time, helping to mark memorable individuals. It is truly an amazing form of art.

The art of language and voice

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As the writer of the article, Adam Ragusea, began discussing Michigan Radio Program Director Tamar Charney’s perspective on the relationship between podcasts and radio shows, I myself, began to wonder what the differences between the two could be. Initially i didn’t put much thought into it and I figured the two were synonymous. After all, I had never been exposed to podcasts until recently, hence I was only familiar with radio shows. In my eyes they both involve people broadcasting conversations of the topics of their choice, but then I told myself to think deeper. Interestingly, I thought of many of the points that I would find Ragusea had discussed.

I am not here to say one is better than the other, but like anything, they both have their pros and cons. For instance, one of my first thoughts was that radio shows are so chopped up, that it is often hard for radio show hosts to discuss meaty conversations in such short time spans. As Ragusea mentioned, radio show hosts often have to recap to catch listeners up on what they may have missed which ultimately cuts down the time that they have in each interval. Namely, I used to listen to the Steve Harvey Morning Show on my drive to school every morning in high school, and they always discussed great topics in numerous parts of their show. However, I noticed that there were many moments where Steve Harvey or any of the other hosts would engage in intense conversations that were cut off by the time constraints. Often times, these were inspirational or informative conversations that aimed to help listeners all over, and many missed out because of these strict time barriers. So in this case, a podcast would be different because it would allow listeners to know what they are getting themselves into, and know what transpired from start to finish.

Leading me to my next point, which is the fact that radio shows and podcasts are similar in the way that all listeners, for the most part, know what they desire to hear. As for podscast viewers, they often see a title and know that they are about to tune into in a conversation. While on the flip side, radio listeners often listen for whatever is gonna be the topic of discussion that day or for music, but are interrupted by commercial breaks. It’s like the radio shows have to constantly multi-task and go back and forth to, as Ragusea said, “please many people all at once.” In fact, this leads me to believe that this is why the content of podcasts has a more natural conversational flow than radio shows do at times. Having the freedom to begin discussing conversations and allow new, sporadic ideas to lead into deeper conversations with more ideas and perspectives, is more prevalent in podcasts than radio shows. Let’s be real, radio shows stick to a specific script that cannot be deviated from which further convinces me that this is what hinders radio shows from having that same touch as podcasts do.

Thus far in this post, my opinion may seem biased or that I am bashing radio shows, but I assure you radio shows also have differences from podcasts that work in its favor. Of course as Ragusea said, “people with the same peculiar interest or taste,” listen to podcasts of their choice, if the content is not what they expect or does not hold their attention for long enough, their attention could easily be lost. In reality, most podcast that are made, are pretty lengthy. While on the other side, radio shows have the option of playing a good song or two just to regain the listener’s attention before they change the station. In other words, it gives you a little taste of everything–some good conversation, the jam of the week, and an announcement for the sale at Ikea that came at the perfect time. That being said, I did not agree with the fact that Ragusea omitted that part of how radio shows work.

Of course, I believe he was right in mentioning the fact that it is a hit or miss with radio shows, but he left out the fact that different radio shows also present specific areas of interest. For example, they have radio stations that listeners know will contain content specifically concentrated on sports, or pop culture, or hip-hop culture, or gospel, or everything under the sun. So in that case, viewers have some sense of what they “opt-in to.” Needless to say, they are not the same and is their differences that are the main reasons why we need them both.

 

By Victoria Robbins

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