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Thursday, January 27, 2011

CSNs Value to Nevada...Fight deep cuts and tuition/fee increases

Over the past month there have been many questions about CSN’s budget and our advocacy efforts to tell our story to lawmakers as they convene in Carson City.

CSN’s Value to Nevada is posted on CSN’s home page on the Budget Issues website at . This site will be updated shortly and will house information about our budget issues, including relevant news articles, CSN, NSHE and state reports and information about upcoming events.

This new publication is a synopsis of CSN’s advocacy message and includes valuable information about how CSN impacts the economy and how budget cuts have hurt Nevadans. You may feel that CSN is important to this state’s economic recovery and that students should be able to enroll in the classes and access the student support services that they need. If you feel that the state’s budget should reflect these priorities then I urge you to read the attached document and use that information to contact your legislative representatives and advocate that lawmakers invest in higher education and CSN.

We need all CSN constituents, including faculty and staff, to serve as advocates for the college. It is a long and exhausting process. But the stakes are high and the cause is worthy. In fall 2010, approximately 5,300 students tried to enroll in classes, could not get in and walked away from CSN. Of the 5,300, 56% were minorities, and 59% were first-time students with fewer than 15 college credits. CSN’s historic mission of providing access is being reduced with very budget cut.

Finally, on Saturday Jan. 29, lawmakers are holding a legislative budget town hall meeting at the Grant Sawyer Building from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our student government is doing its utmost to bring out our students, but I also hope that you will attend. Your presence is necessary to not only show support for our students but I hope that you will also tell lawmakers your own story about why higher education matters and the significance of supporting quality faculty and staff. The CSN’s Value to Nevada document is meant to help those of you who are willing to advocate on behalf of our institution and students.

Thank you for your continuing support to CSN and its students.


Michael D. Richards, Ph.D.
College of Southern Nevada
(fax) 702-651-5001

First posted 10-21-11

Slow Down

Not So Fast. Slow down Communication

Are we moving too fast, communicating too quickly, missing the passion and details of life? The Wall Street Journal featured a story by John Freeman arguing we need to take advantage of speed, but not let it run our lives. In short, we need to slow down, take the time to smell the roses and to actually live life to its fullest.

What are your thoughts?

First posted 9-07-09

Flash! or No Flash!

Why did Apple not upgrade iPhones or introduce the iPad with Flash compatibility? Find out the possible reason at this American Public Radio Marketplace links: and

Why have to upgrade so often, or load several competing programs just to be able to watch videos, view graphics and fully enjoy the web? We do now, with competing formats from Microsoft, Adobe and other companies. Apple, and it turns out Microsoft are moving toward freeing themselves from plug ins and conflict graphics programs may contribute to. And Apple may be ahead of the curve in its decision not to support Flash on its phones and the iPad (Apple does support a version of Flash and versions of other Adobe products adapted for Apple for is OSX computer operating system).

Apple is banking on "html5", a shift in the architecture of the web itself. This format is supported by many companies, including Microsoft, as the way to make a cloud computing universe possible. "html5" works across platforms and does not require plug ins and updates to your computer, phone or personal device.

Apple has gambled before, as it was called foolish for being the first to stop building floopy drives and later zip drives into their computers. They proved to be ahead of the curve. Apple was the first to use firewire and later USB2. But does Apple have that type of influence and can all of their innovative changes come to fruition. They could be wrong.

The top games, and many web sites use Flash. Adobe was so sure of itself it announced it will be usable on all "smart phones" (Apple has not agreed to this because of conflict that Jobs says it may cause with applications and a claim that it could slow down processing speeds by increasing band width use).

As the web develops to become more smart phone and net-book friendly other video applications may either translate or replace flash applications. The application with a potential to put Adobe Flash out of business is not an application, it is a web format. "html5" makes all video and graphics compatible for all devices, from Apple's iPhone and iPad,  to any operating system currently used by computers and phones. It promises to eliminate the need for most plug ins. Also, Jobs says he believes that there are properties in Flash that can cause conflicts, slowing of processing feed or preference changes interfering with aps that Apple users are now becoming dependent on.

First published 2-10-2010

Artistic Temporment

"The artistic temperament is a disease that affects amateurs. Artists of a large and wholesome vitality get rid of their art easily, as they breathe easily or perspire easily. But in artists of less force, the thing becomes a pressure, and produces a definite pain, which is called the artistic temperament. " 
- G.K. Chesterton

Rally to keep your tuition low, courses offered and degree strong!

PLEASE mark your calendars for this Saturday to attend the Legislative Town Hall at the Grant Sawyer Bldg.  (9 AM Rm. 4401, 555 E. Washington Ave at Las Vegas Blvd.)

We all must show our dissatisfaction with the proposed cuts to Higher Education by the Executive Branch.

Student Government is making a BIG Splash at this over the budget cuts as well.  (see their Flyer attached)

This biennium is going to set the tone for the future and the citizens of Nevada must know that these cuts strike at the very heart of our state survival.

Please attend,


William R. Kerney, MA, EMTP (ret)
Faculty Senate Chair 2010-2011
Professor of Emergency Medicine
College of Southern Nevada
702-651-7330; 702-651-5990

We are not Supermen

25 years ago tomorrow we lost our virginity. Americans who grew up on space travel found out that nothing is perfect, and that we are not Supermen.

January 28, 1986 millions of school children were watching as the first civilian, a schoolteacher stepped into the space shuttle. They, along with millions of other Americans, watched in shock as the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded about a minute after take off, only ten miles into its intended trip into space. 

The children, and in fact no one else expected anything but another colorful launch. Where once all Americans tuned into TV to watch Mercury, Gemini and Apollo take off, the truth is that most of the launches were no longer broadcast live on network TV. But this time, because of one schoolteacher, the launch was a major national event.

Prior to that morning, forever scaring the psyche and faith of a generation, only three American Astronauts had died in the line of duty, all three had a fiery not-televised death in a test of a capsule that was never intended to go into space, the Apollo 1 prototype. That tragedy hit all Americans as the dead were among the heros that were the first 12 Astronauts, made into heros for Baby Boomer and their parents alike.

It was the day the President Ronald Reagan was scheduled to deliver his State of the Union Address. Instead he made a speech of remembrance. 

What changed that day was our confidence in science, in our own mortality as a nation, and shook out feeling that this type of thing would never happen. We were supermen and women, not tiny human beings on fragile crafts.

Years later the Columbia disintegrated upon return to earth, having an impact, but not near as strong as the Discovery.

This morning at NASA all work stopped for a moment of silence as part of the Annual Day of Remembrance, the third Thursday of January, where thoughts and prayers are to all astronauts who lost their lives in the Space Program.

Comcast gets ready to take control of NBC Univervsal! Hulu's growing pains. Sundance finds and loses religion

The Computer Network that ate Hollywood. No wonder Hollywood’s getting antsy. Netflix Inc. reported strong subscriber and revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2010, driving past its own predictions and Wall Street expectations and sending its already sky-high stock up 8% in after-hours trading. The DVD-by-mail and online video company surpassed 20 million subscribers at the end of the year, making it the No. 2 video subscription company in the country, behind only cable giant Comcast Corp. Based on current trends, it should surpass Comcast by mid-2011. Walt Disney Co.'s No. 2 corporate communications executive is jumping to a company viewed by many in the entertainment industry as Enemy No. 1. Jonathan Friedland, senior vice president of corporate communications at Disney, is taking a new job at Netflix Inc. as vice president of global corporate communications, the DVD and online-video subscription company confirmed. Netflix, which has an increasingly fraught relationship with Hollywood, will get an executive who is versed on the studios' point of view on the digital transformation of the business. At Disney, he was integral in helping to shape the entertainment giant's message in the media and among investors. Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes, who owns the competing HBO pay-cable networks, has publicly criticized Netflix and its efforts to buy rights to movies for its Internet streaming service. Some other Hollywood executives have privately complained that Netflix is not fairly compensating them for content given the company's fast-rising profits and stock price.

Meet the new bosses. Comcast brass including chief executive Brian Roberts and chief operating officer Steve Burke will be meeting with NBC Universal employees in New York and California this week in town hall-style meetings. Attendees will get a book about the marriage of Comcast and NBC Universal and there's even a new logo! Oh, the excitement. The New York Times and USA Today check in with what will be the first of several stories over the next few days about the closing of the deal and what Burke, who will be over NBC Universal, has in store for the media giant.
Light bulb clicks on! Some of the bosses at Hulu, the popular online video site co-owned by Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and now NBC Universal parent Comcast, seem to have had an epiphany that just maybe putting content online for free isn't such a hot idea after all. The Wall Street Journalexamines the fate of Hulu and its future prospects and reports that Disney and News Corp. are considering making less of their content available for free on Hulu. The site has already launched a pay version, but one intriguing scenario has the owners trying to convert Hulu into an online version of a cable system. Caught in the middle is Jason Kilar, the chief executive of Hulu who has lots of bosses with different agendas. I can relate.
Losing my religion. A number of films screening at Sundance deal with faith and religion, always lightning-rod topics for the country. As expected, most of the films deal with people either questioning their faith or abusing it for their own ends. Festival director John Cooper told the Los Angeles Timesthat he feels the submissions are a reflection of filmmakers weighing issues bigger than themselves. "It's America looking at itself," Cooper said. A cynic might note that the filmmakers recognize there's nothing Hollywood likes better than stories that challenge faith and religion and nothing they hate worse than stories about folks having faith that don't necessarily fit preconceived stereotypes.
Sundance wraps up. As the annual Sundance Film Festival winds down, it is time to assess. Oscar nominations for "The Kids are All Right" and "Winter's Bone," two properties sold at last year's Sundance, no doubt got studios and producers dreaming of finding the next hidden nugget. According to the Wrap, there were 24 films sold at the festival. Variety notes that while there was a lot of wheeling and dealing, few titles had folks buzzing or excited.
Will "Tiger Mother" roar on screen? Hollywood is starting to jockey for position around Amy Chua's controversial book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" (here's an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal). The book, about tough love or not asking your kids how they feel about something every five seconds, has caused quite the stir across the country. More from the Hollywood Reporter.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara on MTV's Skins. Netflix, which had a monster fourth quarter, has surpassed the 20-million-subscriber mark to become the country's No. 2 subscription entertainment provider behind cable giant Comcast.

Guns don't kill people...ducks do!