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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spirit Day October 20

More InfoREAD: ****This event was not created by me. It was created by someone who cares deeply on Tumblr, and I am only spreading the word.****

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools. RIP Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas. You are loved.

Stopping the Free Flow of News

Access to free web site news may be ending much sooner than most of us would expect.
Fox’s Murdock wants to make New Corp products, including Fox News a service you need to pay for on-line. Wall Street Journal Corp is working on even deeper restrictions than they already have. Comcast, if successful in its bid to buy NBC-Universal controlling stock (51%) will seek to change Hulu into a pay service, plus make news web sites much higher in quality and content, but pay for it by charging for access.
Meanwhile Fox and the Associated Press are leading a coalition of companies that want payment if you take content or provide links to their sites content, even if you are a private blogger or have a website which is not set up as part of a business.

The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, Variety and hundreds of other publication have "limited access", with subscription required for full access.
With these changes how will we continue to have a prayer at maintaining an informed electorate, a free society and an educated population? Who will pay for the content, and perhaps more important who will not be willing to pay and therefore remain blissfully ignorant?
What can be done about this?
Who will pay for the new journalism, the costs of reporting, and the price of expertise? How? What model will unfold with the death of advertising supported media, the merger of entertainment and news divisions, decrease in new outlets and increased censorship (self, corporate and government)?

First posted 9-10-09

Will society survive?






Us vs. "them."

Slogan driven hysteria.

All appear to be on the increase, among the young as well as their seniors.

Without discourse, research, trust and believe there can be no society.

At least not civilized democratic society.

Why are so many so quick to judge, generalize, fight or completely hide in a blanket of apathy, hiding from information and refusing to make complex decisions, or to even listen to the arguments?

There are two communication concepts that come into play, beyond Noise (interference, screens, filters).




To "cocoon" means to cut yourself off from all information or things that you do not wish to be exposed to or think about.

"Podding" means to only let in what you wish to let in, usually things you already agree with or that make you feel safe and secure.

Democracy cannot function if either is dominant.

Are we becoming a society of "us vs 'them'" podding?

Or one where we just avoid news, opposing views, issues that require society to participate, or the needs of others?

Your thoughts please.

Verizon iPhone to be a new phone, different than iPhone IV

Apple Inc. plans to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year, said people briefed by Apple.

The new iPhone would be similar in design to the iPhone 4 currently sold by AT&T Inc. but would be based on an alternative wireless technology called CDMA used by Verizon, these people said. The phone, for which Qualcomm Inc. is providing a key chip, is expected to be released in the first quarter of next year, according to the same people.

The phone will not be the same or have the same technology as iPhone IV, with sacrifices and additional services added to use on the competing technology of Verizon. The primary phone for Apple will remain the iPhone as used by AT&T, as the technology of transmission is compatible in other nations, whereas the systems used by Verizon is not.

The previous generation iPhone 3G will also be produced to be compatible with both systems.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Verizon, C-New.


Labor 2010 - Why We're Walking

Join Labor 2010

When you wake up on Nov. 3, will anyone be fighting for working families?

That’s up to us.

So much depends on these elections—jobs, Social Security, health care,
corporate accountability and more.

Our vision of America is at stake.

That’s why I’m asking you to do your part—
to volunteer today for Labor 2010 actions in your area. Click here.

Click on "read more" below for additional information

Help out on this survey...if you can

Dear Communication Colleague,

Most academic disciplines have their “big mysteries.” In other disciplines, they include questions such as:

                  *What marks the beginning of life?
                  *Are we alone in the universe?
                  *Are moral values relative or absolute?
                  *What causes gravity?
                  *How does the brain work?
                  *Is true altruism possible? 

I am conducting a short survey of communication instructors, students, and professionals to identify the major research mysteries that characterize our discipline.  I am inviting your participation, which will involve filling out a short questionnaire and submitting your responses electronically.  Your participation would take approximately 4 minutes and would help researchers in the communication discipline to understand better the major questions that characterize our field.

Take a moment to consider what the “big mysteries” are in the discipline of communication. In other words, what grand questions does our discipline still struggle to answer?  You can find the survey, and more information about the study, by clicking or copying and pasting the URL below:


The survey closes on Wednesday, October 20, so please consider letting your ideas be included!

Best wishes,

Kory Floyd 

(Editors note: no association with this blog other than Communication Association of America membership)

Say it ain't so...Harry may overtake Star Wars

From the Hollywood Reporter

Luke Skywalker has Harry Potter breathing down his neck.

So it's a good thing George Lucas is rereleasing the six "Star Wars" feature films in a couple of years; otherwise, he'd be in danger of losing his status as the filmmaker behind the most popular franchise of all time.

The "Star Wars" films have earned $4 billion worldwide, and sales of merchandise account for another $20 billion.

But in calculating its latest list of the most lucrative film franchises, Forbes magazine used only domestic box-office figures, and it did not adjust for inflation.

Click here for the complete list of top box office contenders.

Click here for the full story and other in the Hollywood Reporter.

On-line Voting for Academy Awards

The Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times are reporting that Academy viewing and voting may be on-line for next years awards season...The following is from the Hollywood Reporter:

Organizers of the Academy Awards continue to mull a potential move of the Oscars to late January or early February starting in 2012 and related logistics, including the idea to let voters watch and vote on contenders online to accomodate the accelerated schedule, according to the LA Times.

A possible date switch still needs approval by the academy and has been complicated by the NFL's plans to add two games to its schedule.

"It's not a done deal yet," Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told the LA Times. "I think we would like to do it. Progress is being made, but we don't have it all right just yet."

But academy officials have tentatively decided that nominations for foreign-language movies could be announced later than others under a possible new schedule. Because there may not be sufficient time to mail out DVDs and ballots, the academy is looking for solutions on the Internet. A committee is looking at how online balloting could be done while avoiding possible tampering, the Times said.

Unions and the Future

On Actors, Acting, Business, Unions and the Future

   If you are interested in earning even part of your living working in the entertainment industry, specifically as an actor or performing talent, you need to take the time to learn about the craft, study the craft and get a handle on what in the musical “Mame” is referred to as “this business called show.

   Looking at acting as a profession means agreeing that as an actor, you are in business for your self. You are an independent contractor going from job to job and task to task.

   Thinking of acting as a business is a stretch for many actors, but a necessity to put food on the table.

   Actors need to learn early that if they intend to earn even part of their living with their talents, they need to organize their lives as a business. There are considerations such as marketing, financing, production and distribution, just as there would be in any business. Photographs, audio and video tapes, training, networking and selling your talents and services are vital for your future success. They are the tools of your trade. Investment of time, money and compassion are needed to succeed in show business. There may be magic, but it is necessary to eat and make a living while creating and enjoying the benefits of that magic.

   Understanding the craft of acting, how to market yourself as an actor, and of the ever changing market place and distribution systems, may be essential to modern financial success in a very ancient profession.

To read more  click here...

Education: "The Daily Show" take

"Half a billion dollars on a school? Did they build Los Angeles a Hogwarts?" Black said. "I went to school in an empty carton of Pall Malls!"- Lewis Black on "The Daily Show."

So much for on-line voting.

Washington state came up with a system to allow on-line voting. Calling it "secure" and "hack proof", they challenged programmers to crack the code. The site now plays the University of Michigan fight song...Needless to say it was back to the drawing board for secure on-line voting.

50 Years of "Sparticus"

Sixty years ago today, October 6, 1960, the now classic film "Spartacus" with Kirk Dublas and a young Tony Curtis, hit theater screens. In a very tough competitive year, Peter Ustinov won Best Supporting Actor, as one of four Academy Awards earned by the film. 


Dr. Paul Harris RIP

Editors' Note: The Paul Haris rehearsal and small performance theatre at UNLV has its name for a reason. One of the builders of the UNLV theater program, community theater (Meadows) in Las Vegas and the Utah Shakespeare Festival was Dr. Paul Harris. He gave to the art, an the community.

From Mary Ann Hebinck:
DR. PAUL HARRIS JR. Dr. Paul C. Harris Jr. passed peacefully Oct. 1, 2010, at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas. He was 90 years young. He was born Dec. 17, 1919, in Seattle, and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Dr. Harris received his PhD in speech and drama in 1960 from Stanford University and was the founding faculty member of the UNLV Theatre Arts Department, where he served on the faculty for 30 years, retiring in 1989. At UNLV, he served as chairman of the Humanities & Fine Arts Division, dean of the College of Fine Arts, chairman of the Theatre Arts Department and served on the Faculty Senate. Dr. Harris retired as Professor Emeritus of the UNLV Theatre Arts Department. As a retirement gift by the faculty, the new theatre located in the Fine Arts building was named in his honor. He was deeply touched by this gift. Paul's children, grandchildren, relatives, friends and live theatre were his joy and his reason for living until it was time to close the curtain. Paul was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Charlotte M. Harris, to whom he was happily married for 39 years. Charlotte and Paul were married April 12, 1949. Their marriage ended with the death of Charlotte Dec. 2, 1988. Paul referred to Charlotte "as the love of his life." He is survived by his three children, Paul C. Harris III, Victoria Harris Serio and Amy L. Wills. Paul was also the proud grandfather of three grandchildren, Maya Erenberg-Harris, and Geoffrey and Saundra Gardner. Viewing will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, with the service following, both at Palm Mortuary, 7600 S. Eastern Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89123. In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to Paralyzed Veterans of America, 801 Eighteenth St., N.W., Washington, DC 20006-3517, or at

Microsoft copies again!

Microsoft has opened the Microsoft Store, and plans on one directly across from Apple at the Mall of America.

It is carbon copy, with logos changed logos, of the Apple Store, with with their versions of the Apple Genus Bar, product displays that seem failure to Apple customers, and similar promotion and locations. The stores are being opened in preparation for the launch of a revamp of Microsoft's mobile operating system, and soon a Microsoft phone designed to compete with Google and Apple, along with new Zune and X-Box offerings.

With the announcement of plans for a Mall of America store yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is taking retail to Apple's door. Microsoft is learning from previous attempts at retail locations in Mission Viejo, CA, San Diego and Lone Tree, Colorado.

What makes this news is that Microsoft was build as a software company who later dabbled in hardware. Apple was always a hardware company with its own operating system, but for the most part third party (including 17% of Microsofts operating revenue) developers for Apple compatible software. The entry of iPods and the iPhone changed the entire playing field.

Angle staff racist?

Above reproduced on the Las Vegas Sun web site, with the following story by the Sun:

The chairman of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Southern Nevada, a grassroots Democratic LGBT organization, is calling out a member of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle's staff for what he calls "casual racism."
Derek Washington contacted the Sun about a Facebook posting he saw on Jordan Gehrke's wall. Gehrke is Angle's deputy campaign manager.
"went to the Clinton Library yesterday," Gehrke's post reads. "To my dismay, they did not in fact have beads in the doorway. Had the urge to walk in and shout 'Where the white women at?!' ala Blazing Saddles. Ultimately decided against it, lest I be mistaken for one of the employees."
Gehrke wrote the wall post in December 2009. Washington said a friend found it and forwarded it to him.
"Not only is it offensive, it's really stupid to be posting this kind of stuff where anyone can see it," Washington said. "I can't imagine ANY campaign manager openly being so, if not racist, insensitive."
A call to the Angle campaign was not immediately returned.
On his Facebook page, Gehrke wrote that he was "just being lighthearted" when a friend asked why he visited the museum if he didn't respect it.