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Sunday, February 14, 2010

When You Comin' Back Red Ryder? CSN Cheyenne Campus

 It's not your average Sunday at Foster's Diner.

Ever since a new freeway bypass opened up nearly 3 months ago, business has slowed to a near halt.

This Sunday is different. The dust blows in a mysterious guest. Everyone in the the diner is suddenly caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

CSN Department of Fine Arts Presents:
When You Comin Back Red Ryder? By Mark Medoff
Directed by Ernest Hemmings

Performances (all in February)
Friday 19th, Saturday 20th, Friday 26th, Saturday 27th

Doors Open @ 7:00 PM Play Starts @ 7:30 PM
Matinees on Sundays @2pm

SAG Talent tops Dam Short Film Festival Winners


The 2010 Dam Short Film Festival Award Winners are:
Audience Favorite - "Hamlet, But You Didn’t Hear it From Me"
Two guards discuss the court of Prince Hamlet from the first siting of the ghost to the massacre that ends the play, from a decidedly working class point of view.
Union talent scripted and directed by SAG New York actor.

Best Nevada Filmmaker - "Kill Order"
Having a terminal disease can be terminal.

Best Drama - "Slice of Pie"
Great film about shy older man's crush on a waitress, set in a rural southern Illinois town against the tragic and comic death of her dog. SAG Talent!

Best Sci-Fi / Horror - "Under God"
President Eisenhower meets UNIVAC. SAG talent!

Best Comedy - "Cabbie"
Set in Chicago a wanna be Cabbie trains for the big day he gets is hack liscence. 

Best Documentary - "Side Effects"
The truth about the drug companies and Washington

Best Student - "Down in Number 5"

Best Animation - "Lightheaded"
Never give up and always keep moving toward the unknown.

The 1st Runner-Ups are:
Audience Favorite - "Psyche on Melrose"
An upscale restaurant where dinner comes with a side order of psychoanalysis. SAG Talent!

Nevada Filmmaker - "The Growth"

Drama - "Who’s Dog is it Anyway"
From one of the stars of "Sex in the City", the story of a dog and romance. SAG talent!

Sci-Fi / Horror - "Schizofredric"
English import, union talent.

Comedy - "Funky Pickles"

Documentary - "The Sundowner"

Student - "The Seventh Floor"

Animation - "Skylight"

A big thanks to all our amazing volunteers, sponsors, filmmakers, and audiences!
See film disriptions at


Dam Short Film Festival

Thank you to all those who volunteered, attended or in any other way supported the Dam Short Film Festival!

Custom reels of films from this and past festivals may be purchased at

My suggestions from this year include "Hamlet* but your didn't hear it from me", "Slice of Pie", and "Spotters. "  There are many other excellent films, but these are actors films using professional talent. "Spotters" is written, produced by and starring Nevada native Michale Toole. "Hamlet" introduces us to the guards who silently watch and know all the dirt about the happenings in the court, with a class difference spin. "Slice of Pie is a warm short story romance involving a man, a waitress, small town gossip and a dead dog.

Audience Favorite - "Hamlet, But You Didn’t Hear it From Me"
Two guards discuss the goings on in the court from seeing Hamlet's father's ghost to the massacre at the end of the play,  with a decidedly working class lean.

As a publicist, along with festival founder Lee Lanier, I gave my audience award winners to a local reporter, so I am not listing the "winners."

I enjoyed screening submissions, working with the board, moderating the filmmakers panel and MC for the award ceremony (although I did almost skip an body's perfect).

For women, a short film titled "My boyfriend is a blimp" hit the right coards.

Filmmakers consider a submission next fall for the annual February small town short film festival. Local business and those who wish exposure in the community or to indy filmmakers, consider a sponsorship. And mark your calendars for the Wednesday to Saturday prior to Valentines Day 2011 to enjoy a wide range of quality shorts, browse a collection of films from the previous six year, watch films on the big screen at the historic Boulder City Theater and network with filmmakers from around the world..

Using Power Point

V.            Using Power Point
Links on blog:

a.     PowerPoint is a Microsoft product, these notes apply to all PowerPoint like systems of presentation, but use the term PowerPoint due to its market dominance
b.     Must take into account not to use as a crutch
c.     Must take into account to avoid briefing (unless the speech is a briefing- see Unit 6 notes on Informative Speaking)
d.     Avoid distracting movements, music and graphics
e.     Do not let the power point be the speech, it is only an aid
f.      Do not put everything on the PowerPoint
g.     Avoid clutter, too much gray matter (verbiage and numbers) and anything that is not referred to vocally and important to the speech
h.     Do use creative integrated features as needed
i.      Do plan and rehearse use of PowerPoint
j.      Use professional quality layout that compliments your speech
k.     Be able to give the speech effectively without the PowerPoint
l.      Do not darken room so that you are not seen clearly by audience
m.   Speak to the audience and not the PowerPoint
n.     Reveal items slightly after you introduce the subject supported (except in the use of humor)
o.     Be sure you do not plagiarize
p.     Make sure you use copyrighted materials properly and within the law
q.     Wide use of PowerPoint (avoid overuse)
                                               i.     94% of professional speakers use PowerPoint
                                             ii.     90% of multi-media presentations are developed using PowerPoint
r.      Plus and Minus
                                               i.     Allows use of a variety of visual aids without having to juggle between them or set up separate equipment
                                             ii.     Allows incorporation of text, photographs, charts, graphs, video, sound and other presentation aids under one system
                                            iii.     Allows for easy professional images (if proofed properly and if design elements are taken into consideration)
                                            iv.     PowerPoint could dominate the presentation (a negative)
                                              v.     PowerPoint may make speaker too dependant on presentation aids
                                            vi.     PowerPoint may lead to the use of aids that are not needed
                                           vii.     PowerPoint can lead to inflexibility in the presentation
                                         viii.     PowerPoint is not easily adaptable to the audience
                                            ix.     Do not use PowerPoint to illustrate every aspect of the speech
                                             x.     Do no look at the PowerPoint more than to glance at it
                                            xi.     Do not let the PowerPoint upstate the speaker
s.     Do not throw together a presentation
                                               i.     Required planning
                                             ii.     Requires rehearsal
                                            iii.     May require changes as speech is developed and practices
                                            iv.     May require changes to adapt to an audience
                                              v.     Make sure the presentation enhances the content of the speech
t.      Review further components and their use in the textbook and in PowerPoint Tutorials
u.     Check for errors. Any error will take away form your Ethos
                                               i.     Spelling
                                             ii.     Statistics
                                            iii.     Color use
                                            iv.     Image order
                                              v.     Etc.
v.     Do request help from other students or professionals when needed
w.    Observe Copyright laws
                                               i.     Obtain permission
                                             ii.     Pay fees if requested
                                            iii.     Fair use provision of copyright law for education
1.     May use portions of copyrighted material for a class
2.     May not receive payment of any kind for presentation
3.     May not post copyrighted material on the open web without written permission form copyright holder
4.     Must credit source in any use, even on closed systems or in a speech use (may be done with written source acknowledgment in find print or in your full outline)
5.     May use three minutes to ten percent, whichever is less, on all film, video or time motion media without obtaining permission, provided above items are observed.
6.     May use ten percent or no more than thirty seconds of music provided source is acknowledged
7.     May use entire photographs or illustrations pro video no more than 15 images or ten percent, whichever is less, of a collection of works.
Must credit sources and use the copyright symbol when presenting material in a PowerPoint or any other presentation aid


Oak Park, Ill pt 1

One of my students did a speech on the town their parents grew up in, so I thought I would share a few random shots of growing up in my home town, snuggled on two sides by Chicago, River Forest and Forest Park to the west and Cicero and Berwyn on the south. The town Earnest Hemingway fled when he was 16 to drive an ambulance in Italy, calling Oak Park "a town of broad lawns and narrow minds." Hometown for Frank Lloyd Wright, with his house and studio, the Unitarian Church and 70% of the work he ever did within its two mile by one mile boundaries. "Tarzan" was "born" there penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs from his wide lawn tree-scaped home.

I remember "Day In Our Village", "US Company", "Wiebolts", "Carson Pierre Scott", "Hillmans" and a long list of local business, now pushed out by national chains and strip malls, in a town cut in three by two infamous Chicago "L" lines, the Congress and the Lake Street "L".

These are random shots captured from FaceBook's Oak Park Group, not personal. Although I do remember Bruce Wayne (real name) and "Jade 50's" rocking us all out to 1950's and 60's music during the first big 50's revival in the 70' s (When I saw the original production of "Grease" at the Kinston Mines Theater ant Trolley Barn in Chicago).

Sunday Morning News and Views

Happy Year of the Tiger…today is not only Valentines Day but also Chinese New Year! Good luck, good health, prosperity, peace and happiness in the Year of the Tiger.

New Vegas publication in the middle of a press depression

Las Vegas has a new weekly newspaper, touting itself as “a new generation of newspapers”. Seven is really newsprint weekly in a glossy cover. Mostly photos and ads, and not that impressive in content, the publication will grow as it is recruiting many of the journalist laid off by cuts at the RJ, Sun City Life, the Weekly and New Times. For example the premier issue can’t seen to decide if it is for tourist or locals, has fashion spreads yet alternative newspaper tones, commentary from the likes of KNPR contributor and CSN historian Michael Green, highlights from the parent New  York Observer, contributions from Tribune Corporation and again lots of color glamour and hip photos no one really cares about.  Michael has been approached, but is not sure he wants to trust it. It is part of a national launch of city newsweeklies by Observer Publishing.


The Wall Street Journal Report reports that e-commerce represents 4% of all retail stores, but is the growth region of consumer purchasing. Like so many other things reported by a technology bias and savvy news media, they have overblown the impact of on-line sales. The media, which has the toys and is mostly made up of younger, and therefore lower paid, enthusiastic journalism school grads, forget that half the country either does not have access to or chooses not to use computers and new media, they forget that smart phones represent less than one in five cell phones in use and that over a third of the population does not use cell phones. Again, you see the world from your own prism and the media has its own prism through which it views the world.

Mohamed El-Erin CEO of the world’s largest bond company, PIMCO. The economic problems in Greece is probably an indication of al larger problem internationally, with the ballooning of the public balance sheets. Several US states, including California and Nevada are in worst condition, but we are states, whereas despite ht European Union, Greece remains a fully independent country and culture.

He coined the term “the new normal” with a sugar high of public assistance. He says that a slow growth rate of around two percent will keep unemployment high for years to come. It will impact politics and consumer confidence. The deficit will remain high and to keep the economy from collapsing, in the US, t is necessary for debt and deficit spending becoming worse for a long time to come before getting better.

We ware coming off the sugar high of massive prosperity followed by massive stimulus.

Records made and broken

In time for Shrove Tuesday and Made Gras, Louis Armstrong has a new song coming out, “old Rocking Band”, with the Preservation Hall Jazz band. The dearly departed recording the song in 1962, in front of a live audience. Modern digital technology allowed Armstrong’s talents to be backed up by today’s jazz band, in crisp digital sound, and still sound as improvisational as any jazz recording.

A new worlds record was set at Paris, Las Vegas last night.  Ohio resident Jeff Ondash under his alter ego name of Tedd McHuggin gave 7,777 hugs in a 24 hour period. The 51 year old man used Valentines Day weekend to raise money for the American Heart Association, a tribute to his father and brother, both of whom passed away of heart problems. The previous record was 5,000 in 24 hours. Ondash now also holds a second record, for most hugs in one hour…1,205.

Valentines Day and Love

On CBS Sunday Mornings, Ben Stein’s love story for Valentines’ day was for Bridget… his dog. He says all of his dogs were “a message of love from God.” It’s the only way to get love without condition, dedication and stress relieve. “Do it and you will never be lonely again.”? His wife of almost fifty years shares his attention and love this day as well, as she has been “mom” to seven dogs since their first met.

Does biology play a role in love? To answer this you need to separate sex from love. Once you do that the answer remains “yes.” And love can be healthy. Studies with women have shown that from migraines to minor discomforts, responses indicate that the sight of a loved one. Just falling in love stimulates a particular part of the brain. The ventral teglaria area floods with dopamine when you see someone you are in love with. This remains true with long time married couples as they gaze at each other, or older citizens who have lost their spouse when they view old photographs. It is not a sad event but a time of warmth and love, something younger people do not seem to understand. Being surrounded by photos of loved ones actually improves health, productivity and attitude.

Breaking up is hard to do. The reason has a biological base. The same part of the brain makes rejection painful, because the chemical response in the body does not change rapidly and chemically you may still be in love.

There is profit in the love attraction between individuals. Studies of stripers show that when stripers are most fertile into their menstrual cycle, their tips peak. There is a chemistry there that goes well beyond conscious. When a striper has a successful relationship with the opposite sex they are also able project this to other men when performing, and tips go up.

There is a mathematically ratio that can predict whether love works, 5 to 1. 5 positive comments to every critical one seem to be the formula for a relationship to work, but it must be sincere.

Long time mates have the same or stronger response when looking at their long time mate as young people freshly in love.

“Money can’t buy me love” is a Beatles song, but apparently not a reality. During times of war women fall in love with uniforms and not incomes, but in peace time statistics show that true love seems to be fed by money, the ability to pay for romance and, despite our moves toward equality, the tendency to seek out mates who can prosper and provide for them. As un-PC as this may seem, the trait continues ad is confirmed by academic research studies, even those postulating the opposite results.

The truth is that money is the root of all-evil, at least in most marriages. Economic stress and disagreements can be traced as contributing to most divorces, and could be the primary spark on domestic disputes.

Actors Stilla and Mira say that the trick to a long term and romance filled relationship is to like the person you are with. They met at an agent’s office, had coffee and he ended up sleeping over. Back then that meant that you had to get married or be disgraced…so they barely knew each they got married. But they grew in like as well as love and were able to work together as a team, and on their own, without putting stress on their relationship.

90% of married couples say they would marry their spouse again, 9% wouldn’t. But there is a difference in the sexes, as 95% of husbands say they would marry their spouse again, while only 85% of wives say they would.

Money can buy you love, at least by this Pew survey, with income making a difference.  95% of those who earn over $50,000 say they would do it again while only 83% of those earning fewer than 50 say they would marry their spouse today.

Statistics do indicate that marriages last longer and are more likely to succeed in better off households, but no one can say if that translates into a happy marriage.

Time spent with your spouse, the amount of time spent appreciating them, sharing experiences and openly discussing things, seems to contribute to both happiness and the longevity of the relationship. It is possible that common bounds created by being with and trusting each other help bind against the inevitable conflicts, disagreements or “rough spots.”

On why relationships last, respect ranks first, sex next to lowest at 2%, and, while against what other statistics say, less than on percent said money has an effect on marriage happiness or duration.

Love at first site is close, but numbers are slightly against it with no 53% saying it does not exist. Interestingly 51% of men say that they do believe in love at first sight.

Despite the statistics of divorce, and differing numbers in the same study, the vast majority of couples say they are happy and plan to spend the rest of their lives together…over 95%.

Romance and the White House

White House marriages face the greatest challenges but usually mean that the a political partnership has formed and that the ties make couples strong. In the White House, Jacky Kennedy said, you only have each other. You have to put the presidency ahead of everything else in your lives, according to Lady Bird Johnson. The first lady is a reality check for the president, as well as the window dressing and now partners. Couples following the end of a term are looked upon with even greater interests by America.

Historians feel that presidents make poor husbands but good partners. The stress, temptation, power, and time commitment are simply too high to be reliable spouses and close mates, yet many try and some succeed.

The American people are conservative and not as open to equality as they tell polls or speak in public. First lady’s are criticized, scrutinized and judged. Bess Truman did not like Washington, or the office.  Jacky Kennedy thrived on it. Hillary Clinton used it to build her own base and was criticized for taking on formal jobs and an office within the White House. And Eleanor Roosevelt is thought of as actually running the country at times when her husbands’ heath interfered.

Vice President Joe Biden Faces the Nation

Vice President Biden responded to charges by Dick Chaney concerning Biden’s alleged denial of the terrorist threat against the US. He told Face the Nation that we have had significant success in our relentless efforts to isolate terrorists and force them into smaller cells. Biden says the worry of a major terrorist attack is real, but not likely due to the efforts this administration has put into taking on terrorists and limiting access to potential weapons of mass destruction.

On military courts, changes have been made to make sure they pass constitutional scrutiny. The idea that if you are tried in military court the penalty is greater is not true, as the conviction and incarceration rate is actually lower in a military court. Trial venues need to be decided on a cast by case basis based on the offense and the evidence.

Chaney says that it is the mindset of the Obama administrating that endangers the prosecution of alleged terrorists. He says 9-11 and terrorist attacks are an act of war, so the trials should be in military court. Biden says that the facts are that under Bush administration most alleged terrorist were tried in civil court and that those tied in military court were far less likely to be convicted or sentenced to long terms.

Biden has been to Iraq 14 times in 2009 and 4 times in the first month and a half this year. He says he says we can be out of Iraq for our combat troops by August and with all major US support troops in 2012.

The Vice President says that requiring a 60 vote majority to get anything done is a fundamental shift in the government, abused on most if not all issues. 50 are a majority and to threaten filibuster on everything is to deny government. In all his years in government neither party has behaved this way before, in effect freezing the senate from getting its work done.

On the jobs bill, he feels they can pass, at least the first bill that can gain bipartisan support. Small businesses will be able to get credit and larger businesses the opportunity to hire. He points out it ways always intended to be a series of bills not a single bill.  He says the administrations efforts, despite a deadlock in Congress, are working. “We have gone from inheriting an economy that shrunk 6% the month before we came into office to one that has grown.”

Hard Times Ahead for Nevada

The state will be devastated with a dark age of sorts ahead, spurred by cuts in government, social services, medical and other programs and increased unemployment. And there appears to be no way around it.

The RJ features a list in the Sunday paper of just how many dollars the deficit is, what it would fund, how it would stack up (literally) or lay out (if laid flat on land). The punch line is that this large number is now deep cuts must be made in an already deeply cut and sparse budget.

Senator Bob Coffin and assemblywoman Peggy Pierce have broken ranks with their fellow members of the Nevada Legislature saying that the state will need tax increases or face cuts that could seriously jeopardize public safety and the future of the state. Pierce says Nevada has the second lowest tax burden in the nation and has cut the budget too much. She would like to see a broad based tax on business profits. Coffin however sees a state income tax as the most viable solution. Leaders of both political parties oppose the two democrats; saying new taxation will endanger the future prosperity of Nevada.

State Senate minority leader Bill Raggio, a Reno Republican, says that Governor Gibbons “no new tax” stance has left the state with no real options given the constitutional mandates on budget and a deficit of over $871 million dollars. He warms that tax cuts during the next legislative session, once legislators are elected in the fall, may be four or five times as much as anything passed during the February 23rd Special Session, and that all of these cuts come on top of deep cuts made during this years session and last years emergency session. The politically correct thing to do is to oppose tax increases, since the majority of Nevadans oppose any increase, however the reality is that the cuts and changes in day to day operations and living in this state will be far deeper than Nevadans realize.

What amazes me is how slogans and beliefs shaped during the boom are still shaping debate and limitation so action during the bust. Slogans and beliefs such as “no new taxes”, “cut government waste”, “let students pay their own way” and “we paid our way already” stack up in the Tea Party rhetoric that ignores how deep the cuts will have to be, the impact on our youth, streets, crime, our ability to attract needed new employers and industries, our ability to keep people employed and on the tax registers. Instead they favor putting families at risk by terminating the employment of government workers, reducing teachers, cutting college sections and course and further reducing the income of state employees through furloughs and layoffs.

Thinking along these lines is selfish and will only lead to higher unemployment, foreclosures, decreased sales and other tax revenue and a deterioration of very real infrastructure from road repairs to building and public safety.

I do not understand it. How can people be so selfish as to condemn others to a lower class, or worse, life style just because they can afford to be relatively safe from how deep this recession is cutting the state?

The “I have mine, so you should make our own way too” mentality works in time where jobs are plentiful and society is building in momentum, but is selfish and cold hearted in hard times.

This is also the first recession, and differs from the previous deepest recession, which we call the Great Depression, in that wealthy are not impacted except in abstract ways (like stock values). The middle class and poor are hit with increased prices, skyrocketing insurance and medical cost, unemployment, under employment, bank foreclosures, decreased opportunities and crowded underfunded classrooms.

Let them pay for a private education if they want one.

Bah, humbug!

Thank you for all of those Mr. Scrooges of the Tea Party movement.