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CaliforniaAggie: More than 2,000 occupy UC Davis

Written by Melissa Freeman at the University of California-Davis

  • Tuesday an estimated 2,000 people rallied against tuition hikes, police brutality & the privatization of the UC system
  • Many occupied the university administrative building well into the night
  • Some students joined to be part of the larger Occupy Movement
  • No arrests were made

    Photo Credit: Evan Davis

    Tuesday an estimated 2,000 people gathered on the UC-Davis quad at noon to strike against tuition increases, police brutality and the privatization of the UC system. The protest was the largest strike at UC Davis in recent years and continued with a Day of Action on the quad Thursday, Nov. 17.

The demonstration Tuesday began with speeches by faculty, followed by graduate students and undergraduates. Around 2:30 p.m. the remaining group marched around the Silo and into Mrak Hall, the university administrative building, to begin an occupation.

Police allowed protesters to remain in the building throughout the night, provided they remained non-violent.

The longest of the speeches was written by English professor Nathan Brown but spoken by professor Joshua Clover, also from the English department. The speech focused on what he called five theses. These included: tuition increases are a problem, not a solution, police brutality is an administrative tool to enforce said increases, and the fight is against the upper administration of UC, not the state legislature.

“We are winning” was the fifth and final thesis.

In his speech, Brown said that UC is seeking to raise funds through tuition, which provides unrestricted funds that can be spent on investment in capital projects.

Speeches by undergraduate students came toward the end of the protest, with a large group of students standing together on stage while several took turns speaking.

“The issue is, money is always a f***ing issue –– it’s the f***ing truth of who we are,” said Yadira de la Cruz, a senior transfer student and the first of the undergraduate speakers. “The fact that we are here is very much a political statement.”

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Several speakers at the protest also related the growing problems on UC campuses to greater issues facing the world today, making references to situations in Chile, Greece and Spain.

“By changing the university, we are also changing the world. And we have to change the world to change the university,” said Clover, speaking for Brown.

Even more prevalent, however, was the both implicit and explicit references to the Occupy Movement and anti-capitalist sentiments throughout the day.

In his own comments, Clover spoke of the “regime of capital and cops” and said that he was “ashamed to work on a campus with a bank.”

The connection to the Occupy Movement was made even clearer by the use of Occupy consensus techniques at Mrak Hall to discuss and deliberate, using thumbs up, down or sideways to arrive at decisions, and repeating the words of each speaker.

After arriving at the building, protesters, including some faculty, entered the stairway and filled the bottom floor. They repeated the chant “no cuts, no fees, education must be free” to the tune of a drum and a small group of dancing students.

As the speakers in Mrak emphasized the symbol of making their own decisions in the building in which decisions are made, administration employees could be seen talking and laughing through the window of a door on the first floor.

Occupiers remained in the hall past the 5 p.m. closing time, while a few police, ranging at times between three and over 15, stood by the doors. Students freely entered and exited the building.

Police were present upstairs throughout the occupation, for the most part going unnoticed.

Occupiers inside held a general assembly, making decisions through consensus on whether to allow the media into the building. After deliberation, they voted to allow media to remain inside the building.

Several news crews were there throughout the night and students streamed live footage of the strike online.

Protester Elli Pearson, a sophomore sustainable agriculture and food systems major, said that her main motivation in protesting was to act in solidarity with the Occupy Movement against corporate greed.

“I’m really glad the strike moved from the Quad to this occupation, and now it will be part of Davis’ history. I’m proud to be part of it,”  Pearson said.

In regard to students not protesting, she said everyone should get involved.

“I can’t see how anyone can not be enraged and can’t somehow find a part of how they can fit into the movement.”

Another protester, Maria Vega, a junior transfer student and anthropology and psychology double major, said her biggest concern was tuition hikes.

“I am most worried about student loans,” she said. “Especially since I want to go to graduate school. It’s a terrifying prospect.”

Although Vega is not a part of the Occupy Movement and it was her first time at a protest, she said that she felt it was time to get involved.

In addition to students and police, campus official Bob Loessberg-Zahl said he was there on behalf of the vice chancellor of student affairs to answer any questions that may come up for students.

This protest was set apart from others in the past by the faculty involvement and the fact that students were allowed to remain inside the building. This is compared to the Nov. 2009 occupation of Mrak, during which 52 people were arrested.

The UC Davis Faculty Association was one of only four UC faculty associations to endorse Tuesday’s strike. Post-doctoral lecturer Sarah Lauro said that this action was necessary for the faculty involvement that followed.

“Once it had that support, there was a momentum and it was up to the various departments to weigh in on how much support their faculty would have on striking,” she said.

Lauro, however, said she is not sure if faculty involvement should play as big a role in the future.

“It is not fair for students to have to fight on their own, but I also don’t think faculty should be in the leadership positions. We should be listening to them as much as talking to them,” she said.

The other major change, the absence of arrests, was pleasing to junior mechanical engineering major, Dominic Gutierrez. Gutierrez spent the night in Mrak doing homework, amid others who were hanging out or sleeping.

“There was never an issue with the police,” Gutierrez said. “They were upstairs and downstairs, there was a student affairs guy there the whole time and I think the lawyers guild was there, which was nice. It was really nice there was no violent reaction and they let us stay and speak.”

The next step, Gutierrez said, was to increase student involvement in the UC protest movement.

“It affects all students equally, but if you look for the most part there’s not a lot of science majors,” he said. “There are a few math or engineering, but we need to get more students in greek life and other student clubs engaged, since these issues affect everyone.”

Bob Ostertag, a professor of technocultural studies, said during his mid-day speech that this was an opportunity for students to participate in a movement to change the world.

“What an amazing time to be a student,” he said. “You all have lucked out in a lottery of life.”

MELISSA FREEMAN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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CaliforniaAggie: More than 2,000 occupy UC Davis

Written by Melissa Freeman at the University of California-Davis

  • Tuesday an estimated 2,000 people rallied against tuition hikes, police brutality & the privatization of the UC system
  • Many occupied the university administrative building well into the night
  • Some students joined to be part of the larger Occupy Movement
  • No arrests were made

    Photo Credit: Evan Davis

    Tuesday an estimated 2,000 people gathered on the UC-Davis quad at noon to strike against tuition increases, police brutality and the privatization of the UC system. The protest was the largest strike at UC Davis in recent years and continued with a Day of Action on the quad Thursday, Nov. 17.

The demonstration Tuesday began with speeches by faculty, followed by graduate students and undergraduates. Around 2:30 p.m. the remaining group marched around the Silo and into Mrak Hall, the university administrative building, to begin an occupation.

Police allowed protesters to remain in the building throughout the night, provided they remained non-violent.

The longest of the speeches was written by English professor Nathan Brown but spoken by professor Joshua Clover, also from the English department. The speech focused on what he called five theses. These included: tuition increases are a problem, not a solution, police brutality is an administrative tool to enforce said increases, and the fight is against the upper administration of UC, not the state legislature.

“We are winning” was the fifth and final thesis.

In his speech, Brown said that UC is seeking to raise funds through tuition, which provides unrestricted funds that can be spent on investment in capital projects.

Speeches by undergraduate students came toward the end of the protest, with a large group of students standing together on stage while several took turns speaking.

“The issue is, money is always a f***ing issue –– it’s the f***ing truth of who we are,” said Yadira de la Cruz, a senior transfer student and the first of the undergraduate speakers. “The fact that we are here is very much a political statement.”

Several speakers at the protest also related the growing problems on UC campuses to greater issues facing the world today, making references to situations in Chile, Greece and Spain.

“By changing the university, we are also changing the world. And we have to change the world to change the university,” said Clover, speaking for Brown.

Even more prevalent, however, was the both implicit and explicit references to the Occupy Movement and anti-capitalist sentiments throughout the day.

In his own comments, Clover spoke of the “regime of capital and cops” and said that he was “ashamed to work on a campus with a bank.”

The connection to the Occupy Movement was made even clearer by the use of Occupy consensus techniques at Mrak Hall to discuss and deliberate, using thumbs up, down or sideways to arrive at decisions, and repeating the words of each speaker.

After arriving at the building, protesters, including some faculty, entered the stairway and filled the bottom floor. They repeated the chant “no cuts, no fees, education must be free” to the tune of a drum and a small group of dancing students.

As the speakers in Mrak emphasized the symbol of making their own decisions in the building in which decisions are made, administration employees could be seen talking and laughing through the window of a door on the first floor.

Occupiers remained in the hall past the 5 p.m. closing time, while a few police, ranging at times between three and over 15, stood by the doors. Students freely entered and exited the building.

Police were present upstairs throughout the occupation, for the most part going unnoticed.

Occupiers inside held a general assembly, making decisions through consensus on whether to allow the media into the building. After deliberation, they voted to allow media to remain inside the building.

Several news crews were there throughout the night and students streamed live footage of the strike online.

Protester Elli Pearson, a sophomore sustainable agriculture and food systems major, said that her main motivation in protesting was to act in solidarity with the Occupy Movement against corporate greed.

“I’m really glad the strike moved from the Quad to this occupation, and now it will be part of Davis’ history. I’m proud to be part of it,”  Pearson said.

In regard to students not protesting, she said everyone should get involved.

“I can’t see how anyone can not be enraged and can’t somehow find a part of how they can fit into the movement.”

Another protester, Maria Vega, a junior transfer student and anthropology and psychology double major, said her biggest concern was tuition hikes.

“I am most worried about student loans,” she said. “Especially since I want to go to graduate school. It’s a terrifying prospect.”

Although Vega is not a part of the Occupy Movement and it was her first time at a protest, she said that she felt it was time to get involved.

In addition to students and police, campus official Bob Loessberg-Zahl said he was there on behalf of the vice chancellor of student affairs to answer any questions that may come up for students.

This protest was set apart from others in the past by the faculty involvement and the fact that students were allowed to remain inside the building. This is compared to the Nov. 2009 occupation of Mrak, during which 52 people were arrested.

The UC Davis Faculty Association was one of only four UC faculty associations to endorse Tuesday’s strike. Post-doctoral lecturer Sarah Lauro said that this action was necessary for the faculty involvement that followed.

“Once it had that support, there was a momentum and it was up to the various departments to weigh in on how much support their faculty would have on striking,” she said.

Lauro, however, said she is not sure if faculty involvement should play as big a role in the future.

“It is not fair for students to have to fight on their own, but I also don’t think faculty should be in the leadership positions. We should be listening to them as much as talking to them,” she said.

The other major change, the absence of arrests, was pleasing to junior mechanical engineering major, Dominic Gutierrez. Gutierrez spent the night in Mrak doing homework, amid others who were hanging out or sleeping.

“There was never an issue with the police,” Gutierrez said. “They were upstairs and downstairs, there was a student affairs guy there the whole time and I think the lawyers guild was there, which was nice. It was really nice there was no violent reaction and they let us stay and speak.”

The next step, Gutierrez said, was to increase student involvement in the UC protest movement.

“It affects all students equally, but if you look for the most part there’s not a lot of science majors,” he said. “There are a few math or engineering, but we need to get more students in greek life and other student clubs engaged, since these issues affect everyone.”

Bob Ostertag, a professor of technocultural studies, said during his mid-day speech that this was an opportunity for students to participate in a movement to change the world.

“What an amazing time to be a student,” he said. “You all have lucked out in a lottery of life.”

MELISSA FREEMAN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org. XXX

TNJN: $50,000 donation to University of Tennessee band

  • Tom and Elaine Edwards, a University of Tennessee alumni couple, donated $50,000 to the university’s Pride of the Southland Marching Band for new trumpets.
  • The Edwards made the donation in response to a request by Gary Sousa, the university’s band director.
  • Tom Edwards is a former trumpet player in the UT band.

 

Article by Jennifer Brake, writer at the University of Tennessee’s Tennessee Journalist

The Pride of the Southland Marching Band received a $50,000 donation from a University of Tennessee alumni couple to purchase new trumpets for its members.

Tom and Elaine Edwards, UT grads, made the large donation at the beginning of the fall semester after the band’s annual “First Tailgate” after band camp.

Gary Sousa, UT band director and music professor, began asking alumni for donations of individual trumpets, which cost around $1,000 each, at the beginning of the semester in order to have a decent set of trumpets for students to use.

Tennessee Journalist

“Having matching instruments is important for sound,” Sousa explained.

Over the years, the band has acquired matching trombone and French horn instruments. They currently have an agreement with Pearl that provides new matching percussion instruments every three years.

Because of the expense of new trumpets, many students were using the instruments they started learning with in middle school, which are smaller and not of professional quality.

Tom Edwards, a former trumpet player in the UT band, immediately responded to Sousa’s request for new trumpets.

“He came to me and asked, ‘When do you want your trumpets?'” Sousa said. Thinking that Edwards was joking, Sousa replied “tomorrow.”

The next day, Sousa received a check for $50,000 to go toward new trumpets for the band.

Current trumpet player, Grant Story, explained how this generosity shows the type of bonds that are formed when students are in band and how the new instruments will help future band members.

“This is really going to benefit future students,” Story said. He explained that the donation will help students who want to be in band but couldn’t normally afford it.

The players got a chance to meet and thank the Edwards’ when they received their trumpets. They are taking special care of the new instruments to make sure they don’t get dinged or scratched.

“We’re treating them like babies,” Story said.

Mr. and Mrs. Edwards have made many other donations to the band in previous years.

The band will perform with the donated trumpets for the first time at the MTSU football game on Saturday.

Editor: Bethany Ross
J.P.R.O.F.

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CaliforniaAggie: MA surpasses CA in energy-efficiency rating

Written by Eric C. Lipsky at University of California-Davis

  • Massuchusetts surpasses California as the most energy-efficient state in the U.S.
  • California has been a leader in energy conservation for decades
  • The Publics Good Charge, a small fee levied on residents’ utility bills, will expire at the end of 2011
  • Some view the rating as a chance for California to get up-to-date with technologies and policies

    Consumers can achieve energy conservation and efficiency at home by turning off lights and replacing them with LEDs.

The most recent report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) states that California is no longer the most energy-efficient state in the United States. According to the report from the private research group, Massachusetts is now the country’s most efficient state followed by California, New York, Oregon and Washington, respectively.

California held the top spot for the last four years, so what does this decrease in rank say about the state’s energy efficiency?

“Personally, I prefer us [California] being number two. It’s a wake-up call, it makes us try harder,” said Benjamin Finkelor, executive director at the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center.

Finkelor said that California has a reputation for being a leader when it comes to energy efficiency and outspends many other states.

According to Finkelor, there are three contributing factors to California’s high status in energy efficiency: codes and standards, energy efficiency programs — such as rebate programs — and nice weather.

“The codes and standards California has are the most aggressive in the country,” Finkelor said. “The energy efficiency bill started in California, some will even say it started in Davis.”

Finkelor said that the state’s combination of prescriptive and performance-based rebate programs encourages manufacturers and retailers to be energy efficient. When it comes to the aggressive codes and standards California has, he said it started decades ago.

“It started in the 1970s when refrigeration was required to become more efficient,” Finkelor said.

He pointed out that appliance standards are crucial because they force the manufacturer to care about the ultimate price the consumer pays, which is especially important, since in the end consumers are the ones paying the bills.

Finkelor said that a great help to California’s energy efficiency has come through the Public Goods Charge (PGC) — the small fee that California residents see in their monthly utility bills.

“Eighty percent of money collected from the PGC is spent on rebates and programs that help energy efficiency,” Finkelor said.

Unfortunately, California legislature did not renew the PGC earlier this year, meaning it will expire at the end of 2011.

“Not continuing that [PGC] or some form of continued investment in both research and development, [or] incentive rebates arguably puts us at a disadvantage,” Finkelor said.

Finkelor said that there is no reason to suggest that the state could not implement a similar program through regulation instead of law, and Gov. Jerry Brown has even asked that some sort of PGC be instituted in any way possible.

Alan Meier, associate director and senior scientist at the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, believes that too much emphasis should not be placed in the report from the ACEEE.

“The choice of programs taken into account, and the weighting assigned to each of them, is to some extent subjective,” Meier said.

Even though the report has California ranked lower than it previously was, Meier views it optimistically.

“The good news is that many more states have ratcheted up their energy efficiency programs and are reducing consumers’ energy bills,” Meier said.

He said that it is difficult to ascertain the reason for the change in ranking for California, but that California cannot be stagnant.

“The ACEEE scorecard is a signal to California — from the governor to the legislature to the utilities to the regulators — that they cannot be complacent,” Meier said. “Saving energy requires constant updates to policies, technical innovations and information to consumers.”

According to the report from ACEEE, total national budgets for electricity efficiency increased from $3.4 billion dollars in 2009 to $4.5 billion in 2010, showing that energy efficiency is taking an ever greater importance.

ERIC C. LIPSKY can be reached at science@theaggie.org.

CaliforniaAggie: MA surpasses CA in energy-efficiency rating

Written by Eric C. Lipsky at University of California-Davis

  • Massuchusetts surpasses California as the most energy-efficient state in the U.S.
  • California has been a leader in energy conservation for decades
  • The Publics Good Charge, a small fee levied on residents’ utility bills, will expire at the end of 2011
  • Some view the rating as a chance for California to get up-to-date with technologies and policies

    Consumers can achieve energy conservation and efficiency at home by turning off lights and replacing them with LEDs.

The most recent report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) states that California is no longer the most energy-efficient state in the United States. According to the report from the private research group, Massachusetts is now the country’s most efficient state followed by California, New York, Oregon and Washington, respectively.

California held the top spot for the last four years, so what does this decrease in rank say about the state’s energy efficiency?

“Personally, I prefer us [California] being number two. It’s a wake-up call, it makes us try harder,” said Benjamin Finkelor, executive director at the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center.

Finkelor said that California has a reputation for being a leader when it comes to energy efficiency and outspends many other states.

According to Finkelor, there are three contributing factors to California’s high status in energy efficiency: codes and standards, energy efficiency programs — such as rebate programs — and nice weather.

“The codes and standards California has are the most aggressive in the country,” Finkelor said. “The energy efficiency bill started in California, some will even say it started in Davis.”

Finkelor said that the state’s combination of prescriptive and performance-based rebate programs encourages manufacturers and retailers to be energy efficient. When it comes to the aggressive codes and standards California has, he said it started decades ago.

“It started in the 1970s when refrigeration was required to become more efficient,” Finkelor said.

He pointed out that appliance standards are crucial because they force the manufacturer to care about the ultimate price the consumer pays, which is especially important, since in the end consumers are the ones paying the bills.

Finkelor said that a great help to California’s energy efficiency has come through the Public Goods Charge (PGC) — the small fee that California residents see in their monthly utility bills.

“Eighty percent of money collected from the PGC is spent on rebates and programs that help energy efficiency,” Finkelor said.

Unfortunately, California legislature did not renew the PGC earlier this year, meaning it will expire at the end of 2011.

“Not continuing that [PGC] or some form of continued investment in both research and development, [or] incentive rebates arguably puts us at a disadvantage,” Finkelor said.

Finkelor said that there is no reason to suggest that the state could not implement a similar program through regulation instead of law, and Gov. Jerry Brown has even asked that some sort of PGC be instituted in any way possible.

Alan Meier, associate director and senior scientist at the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, believes that too much emphasis should not be placed in the report from the ACEEE.

“The choice of programs taken into account, and the weighting assigned to each of them, is to some extent subjective,” Meier said.

Even though the report has California ranked lower than it previously was, Meier views it optimistically.

Consumers can achieve energy conservation and efficiency at home by turning off lights and replacing them with LEDs.

“The good news is that many more states have ratcheted up their energy efficiency programs and are reducing consumers’ energy bills,” Meier said.

He said that it is difficult to ascertain the reason for the change in ranking for California, but that California cannot be stagnant.

“The ACEEE scorecard is a signal to California — from the governor to the legislature to the utilities to the regulators — that they cannot be complacent,” Meier said. “Saving energy requires constant updates to policies, technical innovations and information to consumers.”

According to the report from ACEEE, total national budgets for electricity efficiency increased from $3.4 billion dollars in 2009 to $4.5 billion in 2010, showing that energy efficiency is taking an ever greater importance.

ERIC C. LIPSKY can be reached at science@theaggie.org.

The Grady Journal: Scan, plant, grow: Technology in the garden

By Lilly Workneh on October 21, 2011 on The Grady Journal

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia has implemented QR codes on 10-15 signs referring passerbys to more information. Photo/Lilly Workneh

The next time you decide to take a stroll through the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, don’t forget your smart phones – not only to snap away pictures but also to scan!
Technology is making an appearance is some of the least expected places and with the latest functionality of
QR codes – short for Quick Response – information can be retrieved quicker than ever before, almost anywhere.
 Close to 30 QR codes are now implemented throughout the garden. These codes are small box-shaped barcodes read by smartphone cameras through several third-party applications. The codes are placed by plants and allow cameras to scan, code and redirect users to a website, unique to each QR code, published with relevant information about the subject.
James Gilstrap is the IT specialist at the garden. Photo/Lilly Workneh

“We needed to do something at the garden that’s more outgoing and technology-friendly for our visitors,” says James Gilstrap, the IT specialist at the garden. “The use of smart phones led me to place QR codes on plants where people can learn to grow them or take something useful home.”

This new initiative is one of the ways employees of the garden are attempting to interact with their visitors. Their goal is to allow easier access to more information that can be easily retrieved both by the garden enthusiasts and the inquiring minds that visit the facility.

“People are using smart phones so we started thinking about how we were going to use them here,” Gilstrap says.

Although many codes have been placed around the garden so far, expansion is in the midst. Several other places such as signs, programs and various infrastructures around the garden will eventually have QR codes that direct visitors to websites with more information.

The flower garden alone, which covers 3-5 acres of land, has around 10-15 QR codes implemented throughout the several flowerbeds. The remainder of the codes can be found in the tropical conservatory where many of the tropical plants used in everyday life are harvested, grown and maintained.

Each QR code directs users to a specific web page on the Botanical Garden website. However, the information published varies from plant to plant.

“The differences are that in the flower garden, the codes take you to information on how to grow them,” Gilstrap says. “In the tropical conservatory, not only do I show you how to grow them, or where it came from, but I can give you special interesting tips.”

These interesting tips stem from Gilstrap’s collaboration with several of the garden’s curators. Many aid him by highlighting the important and interesting facts of each plant. From here, Gilstrap then writes and publishes information on the websites that teach curious visitors on background information on the plant along with which fruits to pick while shopping at local markets.

“For example, the Papaya tree – on our sign, I tell you that it’s not just a papaya tree,” says Gilstrap. “Scan the code and it will tell you how to pick the right papaya at the grocery store.”

Vanilla, mango, star fruit, orchids, coffee and chocolate are just some of the tropical plants grown inside of the conservatory.

Although this is a relatively new initiative the Botanical Garden is implementing, they hope to go through each garden and have all the necessary signs and codes placed by the end of December.

The QR Codes are the small square boxes placed below the image of the plant. Photo/Lilly Workneh

“It’s a great use of technology, people who are interested in plants always want to know more,” says Linda Chafin, Research Project Coordinator and a botanist at the garden.

Many anticipate the numbers to increase and the popularity of the QR codes to garner greater interest from visitors of younger demographics.

However, some are skeptical about the success this may bring and if older audiences will be attracted to the new technology.

“At times, we can have an aging population, and we don’t always have a generation that’s as comfortable with technology, so that does concern me,” says Jason Burdette. “I hope that we do have a good response to it.”

Surprisingly, visitor responses so far have indicated that many members of the older generation that own smart phones have become fans of the codes and increasingly use them to scan the QR codes placed directly by the plants.

“It wasn’t the younger ages that were using the phones, it was the older generation,” Gilstrap says. “Because at the garden, our visitorship is of an older generation and they are the ones that WANT to know how to grow the plants.”

Since it’s announcement to the Friends Group last Friday, the garden’s membership non-profit support group, the codes had been scanned close to 60 times over the course of a weekend.

“I love the efficiency, I love the fact that it’s very modern, and for those that have no idea what they are, it’s non intrusive,” says Wilf Nicholls, the Director of the State Botanical Garden. “I’m more than happy to see this new initiative and I’ll be very interested to see how well it’s used.”

The Grady Journal: Scan, plant, grow: Technology in the garden

By Lilly Workneh on October 21, 2011 on The Grady Journal

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia has implemented QR codes on 10-15 signs referring passerbys to more information. Photo/Lilly Workneh

The next time you decide to take a stroll through the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, don’t forget your smart phones – not only to snap away pictures but also to scan!
Technology is making an appearance is some of the least expected places and with the latest functionality of
QR codes – short for Quick Response – information can be retrieved quicker than ever before, almost anywhere.
 
 Close to 30 QR codes are now implemented throughout the garden. These codes are small box-shaped barcodes read by smartphone cameras through several third-party applications. The codes are placed by plants and allow cameras to scan, code and redirect users to a website, unique to each QR code, published with relevant information about the subject.
James Gilstrap is the IT specialist at the garden. Photo/Lilly Workneh

“We needed to do something at the garden that’s more outgoing and technology-friendly for our visitors,” says James Gilstrap, the IT specialist at the garden. “The use of smart phones led me to place QR codes on plants where people can learn to grow them or take something useful home.”

This new initiative is one of the ways employees of the garden are attempting to interact with their visitors. Their goal is to allow easier access to more information that can be easily retrieved both by the garden enthusiasts and the inquiring minds that visit the facility. This is a great way to help enthusiasts gather information about the plants and how to grow them, as for my garden plant, this kind of technology is a big help especially to plant lovers.

“People are using smart phones so we started thinking about how we were going to use them here,” Gilstrap says.

Although many codes have been placed around the garden so far, expansion is in the midst. Several other places such as signs, programs and various infrastructures around the garden will eventually have QR codes that direct visitors to websites with more information.

The flower garden alone, which covers 3-5 acres of land, has around 10-15 QR codes implemented throughout the several flowerbeds. The remainder of the codes can be found in the tropical conservatory where many of the tropical plants used in everyday life are harvested, grown and maintained.

Each QR code directs users to a specific web page on the Botanical Garden website. However, the information published varies from plant to plant.

“The differences are that in the flower garden, the codes take you to information on how to grow them,” Gilstrap says. “In the tropical conservatory, not only do I show you how to grow them, or where it came from, but I can give you special interesting tips.”

These interesting tips stem from Gilstrap’s collaboration with several of the garden’s curators. Many aid him by highlighting the important and interesting facts of each plant. From here, Gilstrap then writes and publishes information on the websites that teach curious visitors on background information on the plant along with which fruits to pick while shopping at local markets.

“For example, the Papaya tree – on our sign, I tell you that it’s not just a papaya tree,” says Gilstrap. “Scan the code and it will tell you how to pick the right papaya at the grocery store.”

Vanilla, mango, star fruit, orchids, coffee and chocolate are just some of the tropical plants grown inside of the conservatory.

Although this is a relatively new initiative the Botanical Garden is implementing, they hope to go through each garden and have all the necessary signs and codes placed by the end of December.

The QR Codes are the small square boxes placed below the image of the plant. Photo/Lilly Workneh

“It’s a great use of technology, people who are interested in plants always want to know more,” says Linda Chafin, Research Project Coordinator and a botanist at the garden.

Many anticipate the numbers to increase and the popularity of the QR codes to garner greater interest from visitors of younger demographics.

However, some are skeptical about the success this may bring and if older audiences will be attracted to the new technology.

“At times, we can have an aging population, and we don’t always have a generation that’s as comfortable with technology, so that does concern me,” says Jason Burdette. “I hope that we do have a good response to it.”

Surprisingly, visitor responses so far have indicated that many members of the older generation that own smart phones have become fans of the codes and increasingly use them to scan the QR codes placed directly by the plants.

“It wasn’t the younger ages that were using the phones, it was the older generation,” Gilstrap says. “Because at the garden, our visitorship is of an older generation and they are the ones that WANT to know how to grow the plants.”

Since it’s announcement to the Friends Group last Friday, the garden’s membership non-profit support group, the codes had been scanned close to 60 times over the course of a weekend.

“I love the efficiency, I love the fact that it’s very modern, and for those that have no idea what they are, it’s non intrusive,” says Wilf Nicholls, the Director of the State Botanical Garden. “I’m more than happy to see this new initiative and I’ll be very interested to see how well it’s used.”

SFSU: California federal government aims to curb medical marijuana distribution

By  Sandra Lopez at San Francisco State University
  • Landlords who rent their spaces to medical marijuana dispensers face criminal charges or seizure of their property
  • Dispensaries annually generate roughly $1.5 billion, and nearly $100 million in sales taxes

Medithrive employee, Caroline Emerson, 25, helps 18-year-olds Daniel Short and Spencer Durham pick out medical marijuana Oct. 24, 2011. Photo by Jessica Goss.

The war on medical marijuana took a new turn recently as landlords who rent to medical marijuana dispensaries were threatened with prosecution by the federal government in California.

Earlier this month, federal prosecutors in California ordered dozens of dispensaries to shut down within 45 days. If the owners or landlords do not comply with the warning, they face criminal charges or seizure of their property, according to a press release issued by the Department of Justice.

Federal procedures could have sizable consequences in California, where an estimated $1.5 billion medical marijuana transactions have taken place annually, according to an economic analysis by California’s National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

California receives roughly $100 million in sales taxes from dispensaries yearly. Numerous cities, including Sacramento, have sought to make up for depleted assets by taxing local medical marijuana dispensaries.

“They don’t have the reasonable amount of money to shut down every dispensary in the state,” said Dale Jones, spokeswoman for “Yes on Proposition 19 also known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act” and also executive chancellor at cannabis trade school Oaksterdam University in Oakland. “It’s going to be like a tornado – some will get destroyed while others will be left untouched.”

Federal officials are primarily going after medical dispensaries that are close to schools, parks, sports fields and other places that may be near children.

“Marijuana stores operating in proximity to schools, parks and other areas where children are present send the wrong message to those in our society who are the most impressionable,” said Melinda Haag, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, in the DOJ press release. “Although our initial efforts in the Northern District focus on only certain marijuana stores, we will almost certainly be taking action against others. None are immune from action by the federal government.”

Dispensaries in the Bay Area, including San Francisco and Marin counties, were sent letters that warn that California’s medical marijuana law does not protect against property seizure or prosecution under federal law.

Under state law, dispensaries cannot operate within 600 feet of schools. However, under federal law Title 21 USC 860, dispensaries can be subjected to penalization if they participate in the sale or distribution of controlled substances within 1,000 feet of a public or private elementary, vocational or secondary school, or a public or private college, junior college or university.

In addition, dispensaries can also be penalized if they are within 100 feet of a public or private youth center, public swimming pool or video arcade facility.

Among the local medical dispensaries that are located close to schools are 208 Valencia Street Caregivers and Medithrive.

A worker at Medithrive, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the landlord has not given them any notice to leave and that, as far as they know, they are not being affected.

Peter Avila, the principal at Marshall Elementary, said that even though the school is located right behind Medithrive, he does not have any issues with the dispensary.

“Alcohol and other illicit drugs are much more of a problem in our neighborhood,” Avila said. “I have not had one complaint about Medithrive, not one.”

The Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana also received a letter asking the landlord to evict the dispensary or risk imprisonment.

Greg Anton, a lawyer who represents MAMM, said that the federal government is going to accomplish the exact opposite of what they are trying to do.

“The federal government is indirectly supplying marijuana to children,” Anton said. “If they close dispensaries down, people will take marijuana to the streets where there won’t be any regulation.”

According to Anton, MAMM is one of the oldest and longest running dispensaries in the state.

“It will probably close down after 15 years of no complaints,” Anton said.

In 2009, the DOJ sent out a memo saying that prosecutors would not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they complied with state laws. However, federal prosecutors and the DEA have continued to arrest and prosecute medical marijuana providers.

Students at SF State have mixed feeling about the consumption of cannabis.

“The traditional ways that people use marijuana, like for getting in touch with the spirits or for medical use, is fine by me,” said Chantal Roberts, 23, consumer and family sciences major. “But right now a lot of people are abusing it and it’s getting harder to regulate.”

Gary Lamb, 33, psychology major, believes that while the use of medical marijuana is understandable, it’s also understudied in terms of its effects. Unfortunately cannabis has many medical uses and there are many online dispensary shipping from where people could buy such oils which can be used to cure their chronic pain. As long as people understand and use cannabis for the right reasons it would not be a problem to anyone. 

“It’s kind of hypocritical because alcohol is just as dangerous,” Lamb said. “But more research needs to be done on the effects that marijuana has on the brain before we try to legalize it.”

Samples of marijuana on display at Medithrive, a medical cannabis dispensary in the Mission District. Photo by Jessica Goss.Daniel Short, Spencer Durham and Triston Davenport (left to right), purchase Underdog Hash from Medithrive, a medical cannabis dispensary in the Mission District, Oct. 24, 2011. Photo by Jessica Goss.

Kennesaw Communication: Local, organic foods impact health, economy

Story by Mia Rojas for KennesawCommunication.com on October 24, 2011

  • Buying organic can be costly in tough economy, but benefits can save money in long run
  • Pesticides dangerous for human consumption
  • Local farmer’s markets growing in popularity

Consuming organic products has proved to be beneficial to both the environment and our health. Today however, consumers continue to buy conventionally grown products due to its significantly lower cost.

In this economy, many households simply cannot afford to go 100 percent organic. However, people today are cautious when buying non-organic produce due to the high levels of pesticides found in many of the fruits and vegetables.

Jessica Nixon, 22, is a new mother who is gradually making the switch toward organic foods. “I’m a mom now,” said Nixon. “I didn’t really care too much about what I ate before, but now that I have Isabella, I want to take care of her as best I can.”

Nixon admits that eating all organic foods is a bit out of her budget, but she says that a good tip to saving money is knowing exactly what foods to buy.

“You have to do a little bit of research in the beginning,” said Nixon. “There are some foods that have a higher degree of pesticides than others, and those are the ones I buy as organic.”

The Environmental Working Group created a list known as the Dirty Dozen to help consumers determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic.

Apples, celery, strawberries, peaches and spinach are found at the top of the list because they are the most contaminated. Onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado and asparagus, however, are the lowest in pesticide residues and are the top five of another list known as the Clean 15.

Another point Nixon emphasizes is on knowing where to shop for groceries. Choosing a local farmers market can be less expensive than the bigger chain markets because you are buying directly from the farmer.

“I prefer going to smaller places like the Dunwoody Green or even Morningside Farmers Market,” said Nixon. “I get to talk to some of the farmers about their products, and I find it cheaper than places like Wholefoods or Harry’s.”

Morningside Farmer’s Market, located in Atlanta, has offered certified organically grown produce since 1995. Eleven certified organic farms get together every Saturday morning to sell fresh, organic produce.

Whippoorwill Hollow Farm is a 74-acre certified organic farm located in Walnut Grove, Georgia. The farm, managed by Andy and Hilda Byrd, grows a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs and raises diverse livestock for eggs.

Bob Smiles, who has volunteered for the farm for over three years, says that unlike other farmers markets, Morningside is the only market in Georgia that requires all its vendors to be certified organic.

“There is a difference between natural, local and certified organic,” said Smiles. “Other farms could also be using sustainable agriculture, but the process of becoming ‘certified organic’ is long and it involves a lot of paperwork and yearly inspections.”

After ten years in the business, Andy Byrd is no rookie to the lengthy process.

“At our farm, we use sustainable methods of agriculture,” said Byrd. “That means we don’t use any of the conventional pesticides and herbicides used by larger non-organic factory farms.”

According to the Organic Trade Association, organic agriculture promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. In essence, by replenishing the soil, it works in harmony with the environment.

Pesticides, however, eliminate and control a variety of agricultural pests that can damage crops and livestock, and reduce farm productivity. The uses of such chemicals leave residues on the fruits and vegetables we eat, and overtime become hazardous to our health.

Although Whippoorwill Hollow farm does use a form of pesticides and herbicides approved by organic standards, Byrd says they also use garlic and red pepper sprays and a method known as crop rotation.

“Each year we rotate the crops so you kind of keep the bugs confused,” said Byrd. “If you have a little bit of a pest problem one year, by rotating (crops) you prevent them from staying and damaging your crops.”

The uses of such methods require a lot time and work, and the productions of crops also vary upon seasons. Due to a longer time of productivity, the demand for organic products continues to outgrow the supply.

The end result is higher prices. With that said, are the health benefits of organic foods really worth the extra dollar or two? Andy Byrd has only one answer to that question.

“We have to think of this food as fuel to our body, as gasoline is to your car,” said Byrd. “If you’re going down the road and you see gasoline pumps on both sides of the road, one says 70 cents a gallon of trash, water, and contaminants and the other says 3 dollars a gallon of the highest quality premium you can use, which one are you going to chose?”

In an economy where people are “pinching pennies,” Byrd says that the long-term benefits of switching to organic foods include “fewer colds” and “less medical visits.” Like a car, the fuel or foods you put into your body determine how long and how well it will run in the future.

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J.P.R.O.F.

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This article was edited and re-packaged by Margaret Grigsby, a member of the ICONN News Stream at the University of Tennessee. Please direct any comments or questions to mgrigsby@utk.edu.

 

Hard News Cafe: Author offers advice to avoid the undead

Story by Cathy Morgan for Hard News Cafe at Utah State University, October 24th, 2011

  • Zombie awareness becomes mainstream
  • Hollywood drives increased interest in zombie interest
  • Tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse

Psychiatrist and author of The Zombie Autopsies Steven C. Schlozman offered USU students a crash course in Zombie 101 recently, including essential zombie knowledge and survival techniques. It’s National Zombie Day this week, and Halloween is right around the corner, so interest in the undead, ghouls and goblins is high, and zombies are one of the favorite choices.

ASUSU Arts and Lectures invited Schlozman, a Harvard psychiatry professor and zombie film fan, to address the question, “If there ever was a zombie outbreak, how do you think you would survive?” Schlozman’s new novel, The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse, documents for the first time how the unique biology of a zombie may actually work and how doctors could go about curing it.

See Schlozman on YouTube.

The idea of a virus that can cause humans to turn into zombies has been an interest not just for the average Joe, but also for doctors. Rumors or misinterpretations tend to cause people to panic when they don’t understand what is going on. For example, when the Orson Welles radio play of The War of the Worlds aired on Halloween 1938, a wave of mass panic struck the public, even though every half-hour an announcement was played telling everyone it was of course not real.

“This type of thing is the risk I take when giving this lecture,” Schlozman commented. “People tend to overreact and get excited.”

Even though the topic of a brain-hungry lumbering monster is scary, it still attracts people. Part of that could be in the mystery of why zombies don’t exist, or if they did, what would we do about it.

“The idea of zombies has caught on, it’s fun, and it seems to help people who are trying to understand the purpose of life,” Schlozman said.

In fact, Schlozman’s version of zombies has caught the attention of premier zombiac George Romero, director of the original Night of the Living Dead, who plans a film version of Schlozman’s book.

When asked why he thinks people love zombies so much, Tony Dickey, a computer science major, remarked, “I think the whole fascination with zombies stems from a desire to escape from reality, the desire to have adventure in your life. It’s something that seems like it could happen, even if there’s only a miniscule chance. People like to imagine they’d be able to survive an apocalypse like that.”

With all this in mind, People are always asking, how could we survive if there ever was a zombie apocalypse? Schlozman uses the example of slow-moving zombies like the kind that shamble in George A. Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead to help us understand how in eight easy steps what we should do.

  1. Those people that walk and text on campus that somehow always get in your way will be the first to go. Not just because they’re annoying but because they’re always distracted. This time instead of getting run over by your bike, they’re going to get mauled by a zombie!
  2. Make sure that guy staring at you at the bus stop making weird faces as if he’s somehow flirting with you doesn’t just appear to be a zombie. You need allies, and cutting down those people that give you a creepy vibe won’t help you in your need to survive.
  3. You need to make sure you understand how a zombie acts and thinks. Go home and watch Michael Jacksons’ Thriller a few times and you’ll understand what I mean.
  4. Now remember! When you can’t always get what you want, stomping and crying never got you anywhere with your parents now did it? Well for a zombie it’s the same way. You need to put on your big boy pants and not act like an adolescent if you want to survive.
  5. If you’ve been living in Logan for awhile, the cold winters have trained you to learn how to walk quickly from one destination to another. This will come in handy when you encounter those slow stumbling zombies.
  6. Just like anyone else, a zombie could appreciate a good hearty snack. Make sure you keep some chicken on yourself, just throw it at them and run. I promise, they won’t care about you anymore if there’s KFC on the ground.
  7. Now this would be the perfect time to wear that camouflage everyone used to call unfashionable. If you know how to blend in and hide, you’ll be just fine.
  8. The last rule is to simply become one with yourself. Learn some yoga and deep breathing exercises if you don’t know how to control your anger or patience. You need to be able to handle any stressful situation.

As a zombie fanatic myself I’ve found a few things to keep you zombie fanatics interested for the next little while. The second season of The Walking Dead premiered on AMC last week. The TV series follows a group of people looking for a new way of life after a zombie apocalypse occurs.

This week, the History Channel starts a series called The History of the Dead, starting Wednesday. If you’re more of a reader, pick up World War Z, the top-selling zombie novel.

J.P.R.O.F.

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This article was edited and re-packaged by Margaret Grigsby, a member of the ICONN News Stream at the University of Tennessee. Please direct any comments or questions to mgrigsby@utk.edu.

 

Hard News Cafe: Author offers advice to avoid the undead

Story by Cathy Morgan for Hard News Cafe at Utah State University, October 24th, 2011

  • Zombie awareness becomes mainstream
  • Hollywood drives increased interest in zombie interest
  • Tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse

Psychiatrist and author of The Zombie Autopsies Steven C. Schlozman offered USU students a crash course in Zombie 101 recently, including essential zombie knowledge and survival techniques. It’s National Zombie Day this week, and Halloween is right around the corner, so interest in the undead, ghouls and goblins is high, and zombies are one of the favorite choices.

ASUSU Arts and Lectures invited Schlozman, a Harvard psychiatry professor and zombie film fan, to address the question, “If there ever was a zombie outbreak, how do you think you would survive?” Schlozman’s new novel, The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse, documents for the first time how the unique biology of a zombie may actually work and how doctors could go about curing it.

See Schlozman on YouTube.

The idea of a virus that can cause humans to turn into zombies has been an interest not just for the average Joe, but also for doctors. Rumors or misinterpretations tend to cause people to panic when they don’t understand what is going on. For example, when the Orson Welles radio play of The War of the Worlds aired on Halloween 1938, a wave of mass panic struck the public, even though every half-hour an announcement was played telling everyone it was of course not real.

“This type of thing is the risk I take when giving this lecture,” Schlozman commented. “People tend to overreact and get excited.”

Even though the topic of a brain-hungry lumbering monster is scary, it still attracts people. Part of that could be in the mystery of why zombies don’t exist, or if they did, what would we do about it.

“The idea of zombies has caught on, it’s fun, and it seems to help people who are trying to understand the purpose of life,” Schlozman said.

In fact, Schlozman’s version of zombies has caught the attention of premier zombiac George Romero, director of the original Night of the Living Dead, who plans a film version of Schlozman’s book.

When asked why he thinks people love zombies so much, Tony Dickey, a computer science major, remarked, “I think the whole fascination with zombies stems from a desire to escape from reality, the desire to have adventure in your life. It’s something that seems like it could happen, even if there’s only a miniscule chance. People like to imagine they’d be able to survive an apocalypse like that.”

With all this in mind, People are always asking, how could we survive if there ever was a zombie apocalypse? Schlozman uses the example of slow-moving zombies like the kind that shamble in George A. Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead to help us understand how in eight easy steps what we should do.

  1. Those people that walk and text on campus that somehow always get in your way will be the first to go. Not just because they’re annoying but because they’re always distracted. This time instead of getting run over by your bike, they’re going to get mauled by a zombie!
  2. Make sure that guy staring at you at the bus stop making weird faces as if he’s somehow flirting with you doesn’t just appear to be a zombie. You need allies, and cutting down those people that give you a creepy vibe won’t help you in your need to survive.
  3. You need to make sure you understand how a zombie acts and thinks. Go home and watch Michael Jacksons’ Thriller a few times and you’ll understand what I mean.
  4. Now remember! When you can’t always get what you want, stomping and crying never got you anywhere with your parents now did it? Well for a zombie it’s the same way. You need to put on your big boy pants and not act like an adolescent if you want to survive.
  5. If you’ve been living in Logan for awhile, the cold winters have trained you to learn how to walk quickly from one destination to another. This will come in handy when you encounter those slow stumbling zombies.
  6. Just like anyone else, a zombie could appreciate a good hearty snack. Make sure you keep some chicken on yourself, just throw it at them and run. I promise, they won’t care about you anymore if there’s KFC on the ground.
  7. Now this would be the perfect time to wear that camouflage everyone used to call unfashionable. If you know how to blend in and hide, you’ll be just fine.
  8. The last rule is to simply become one with yourself. Learn some yoga and deep breathing exercises if you don’t know how to control your anger or patience. You need to be able to handle any stressful situation.

As a zombie fanatic myself I’ve found a few things to keep you zombie fanatics interested for the next little while. The second season of The Walking Dead premiered on AMC last week. The TV series follows a group of people looking for a new way of life after a zombie apocalypse occurs.

This week, the History Channel starts a series called The History of the Dead, starting Wednesday. If you’re more of a reader, pick up World War Z, the top-selling zombie novel.

J.P.R.O.F.

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This article was edited and re-packaged by Margaret Grigsby, a member of the ICONN News Stream at the University of Tennessee. Please direct any comments or questions to mgrigsby@utk.edu.

 

Hard News Cafe: Author offers advice to avoid the undead

Story by Cathy Morgan for Hard News Cafe at Utah State University, October 24th, 2011

  • Zombie awareness becomes mainstream
  • Hollywood drives increased interest in zombie interest
  • Tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse

Psychiatrist and author of The Zombie Autopsies Steven C. Schlozman offered USU students a crash course in Zombie 101 recently, including essential zombie knowledge and survival techniques. It’s National Zombie Day this week, and Halloween is right around the corner, so interest in the undead, ghouls and goblins is high, and zombies are one of the favorite choices.

ASUSU Arts and Lectures invited Schlozman, a Harvard psychiatry professor and zombie film fan, to address the question, “If there ever was a zombie outbreak, how do you think you would survive?” Schlozman’s new novel, The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse, documents for the first time how the unique biology of a zombie may actually work and how doctors could go about curing it.

See Schlozman on YouTube.

The idea of a virus that can cause humans to turn into zombies has been an interest not just for the average Joe, but also for doctors. Rumors or misinterpretations tend to cause people to panic when they don’t understand what is going on. For example, when the Orson Welles radio play of The War of the Worlds aired on Halloween 1938, a wave of mass panic struck the public, even though every half-hour an announcement was played telling everyone it was of course not real.

“This type of thing is the risk I take when giving this lecture,” Schlozman commented. “People tend to overreact and get excited.”

Even though the topic of a brain-hungry lumbering monster is scary, it still attracts people. Part of that could be in the mystery of why zombies don’t exist, or if they did, what would we do about it.

“The idea of zombies has caught on, it’s fun, and it seems to help people who are trying to understand the purpose of life,” Schlozman said.

In fact, Schlozman’s version of zombies has caught the attention of premier zombiac George Romero, director of the original Night of the Living Dead, who plans a film version of Schlozman’s book.

When asked why he thinks people love zombies so much, Tony Dickey, a computer science major, remarked, “I think the whole fascination with zombies stems from a desire to escape from reality, the desire to have adventure in your life. It’s something that seems like it could happen, even if there’s only a miniscule chance. People like to imagine they’d be able to survive an apocalypse like that.”

With all this in mind, People are always asking, how could we survive if there ever was a zombie apocalypse? Schlozman uses the example of slow-moving zombies like the kind that shamble in George A. Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead to help us understand how in eight easy steps what we should do.

  1. Those people that walk and text on campus that somehow always get in your way will be the first to go. Not just because they’re annoying but because they’re always distracted. This time instead of getting run over by your bike, they’re going to get mauled by a zombie!
  2. Make sure that guy staring at you at the bus stop making weird faces as if he’s somehow flirting with you doesn’t just appear to be a zombie. You need allies, and cutting down those people that give you a creepy vibe won’t help you in your need to survive.
  3. You need to make sure you understand how a zombie acts and thinks. Go home and watch Michael Jacksons’ Thriller a few times and you’ll understand what I mean.
  4. Now remember! When you can’t always get what you want, stomping and crying never got you anywhere with your parents now did it? Well for a zombie it’s the same way. You need to put on your big boy pants and not act like an adolescent if you want to survive.
  5. If you’ve been living in Logan for awhile, the cold winters have trained you to learn how to walk quickly from one destination to another. This will come in handy when you encounter those slow stumbling zombies.
  6. Just like anyone else, a zombie could appreciate a good hearty snack. Make sure you keep some chicken on yourself, just throw it at them and run. I promise, they won’t care about you anymore if there’s KFC on the ground.
  7. Now this would be the perfect time to wear that camouflage everyone used to call unfashionable. If you know how to blend in and hide, you’ll be just fine.
  8. The last rule is to simply become one with yourself. Learn some yoga and deep breathing exercises if you don’t know how to control your anger or patience. You need to be able to handle any stressful situation.

As a zombie fanatic myself I’ve found a few things to keep you zombie fanatics interested for the next little while. The second season of The Walking Dead premiered on AMC last week. The TV series follows a group of people looking for a new way of life after a zombie apocalypse occurs.

This week, the History Channel starts a series called The History of the Dead, starting Wednesday. If you’re more of a reader, pick up World War Z, the top-selling zombie novel.

J.P.R.O.F.

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This article was edited and re-packaged by Margaret Grigsby, a member of the ICONN News Stream at the University of Tennessee. Please direct any comments or questions to mgrigsby@utk.edu.

 

Hard News Cafe: Author offers advice to avoid the undead

Story by Cathy Morgan for Hard News Cafe at Utah State University, October 24th, 2011

  • Zombie awareness becomes mainstream
  • Hollywood drives increased interest in zombie interest
  • Tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse

Psychiatrist and author of The Zombie Autopsies Steven C. Schlozman offered USU students a crash course in Zombie 101 recently, including essential zombie knowledge and survival techniques. It’s National Zombie Day this week, and Halloween is right around the corner, so interest in the undead, ghouls and goblins is high, and zombies are one of the favorite choices.

ASUSU Arts and Lectures invited Schlozman, a Harvard psychiatry professor and zombie film fan, to address the question, “If there ever was a zombie outbreak, how do you think you would survive?” Schlozman’s new novel, The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse, documents for the first time how the unique biology of a zombie may actually work and how doctors could go about curing it.

See Schlozman on YouTube.

The idea of a virus that can cause humans to turn into zombies has been an interest not just for the average Joe, but also for doctors. Rumors or misinterpretations tend to cause people to panic when they don’t understand what is going on. For example, when the Orson Welles radio play of The War of the Worlds aired on Halloween 1938, a wave of mass panic struck the public, even though every half-hour an announcement was played telling everyone it was of course not real.

“This type of thing is the risk I take when giving this lecture,” Schlozman commented. “People tend to overreact and get excited.”

Even though the topic of a brain-hungry lumbering monster is scary, it still attracts people. Part of that could be in the mystery of why zombies don’t exist, or if they did, what would we do about it.

“The idea of zombies has caught on, it’s fun, and it seems to help people who are trying to understand the purpose of life,” Schlozman said.

In fact, Schlozman’s version of zombies has caught the attention of premier zombiac George Romero, director of the original Night of the Living Dead, who plans a film version of Schlozman’s book.

When asked why he thinks people love zombies so much, Tony Dickey, a computer science major, remarked, “I think the whole fascination with zombies stems from a desire to escape from reality, the desire to have adventure in your life. It’s something that seems like it could happen, even if there’s only a miniscule chance. People like to imagine they’d be able to survive an apocalypse like that.”

With all this in mind, People are always asking, how could we survive if there ever was a zombie apocalypse? Schlozman uses the example of slow-moving zombies like the kind that shamble in George A. Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead to help us understand how in eight easy steps what we should do.

  1. Those people that walk and text on campus that somehow always get in your way will be the first to go. Not just because they’re annoying but because they’re always distracted. This time instead of getting run over by your bike, they’re going to get mauled by a zombie!
  2. Make sure that guy staring at you at the bus stop making weird faces as if he’s somehow flirting with you doesn’t just appear to be a zombie. You need allies, and cutting down those people that give you a creepy vibe won’t help you in your need to survive.
  3. You need to make sure you understand how a zombie acts and thinks. Go home and watch Michael Jacksons’ Thriller a few times and you’ll understand what I mean.
  4. Now remember! When you can’t always get what you want, stomping and crying never got you anywhere with your parents now did it? Well for a zombie it’s the same way. You need to put on your big boy pants and not act like an adolescent if you want to survive.
  5. If you’ve been living in Logan for awhile, the cold winters have trained you to learn how to walk quickly from one destination to another. This will come in handy when you encounter those slow stumbling zombies.
  6. Just like anyone else, a zombie could appreciate a good hearty snack. Make sure you keep some chicken on yourself, just throw it at them and run. I promise, they won’t care about you anymore if there’s KFC on the ground.
  7. Now this would be the perfect time to wear that camouflage everyone used to call unfashionable. If you know how to blend in and hide, you’ll be just fine.
  8. The last rule is to simply become one with yourself. Learn some yoga and deep breathing exercises if you don’t know how to control your anger or patience. You need to be able to handle any stressful situation.

As a zombie fanatic myself I’ve found a few things to keep you zombie fanatics interested for the next little while. The second season of The Walking Dead premiered on AMC last week. The TV series follows a group of people looking for a new way of life after a zombie apocalypse occurs.

This week, the History Channel starts a series called The History of the Dead, starting Wednesday. If you’re more of a reader, pick up World War Z, the top-selling zombie novel.

J.P.R.O.F.

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This article was edited and re-packaged by Margaret Grigsby, a member of the ICONN News Stream at the University of Tennessee. Please direct any comments or questions to mgrigsby@utk.edu.

 

Kennesaw Communication: Employers now evaluating job applicants through social media

  • Hiring managers at companies check social media profiles of potential employees
  • Companies cannot use social media information for discriminatory purposes
  • Looking for a job? Highlight your community service on social media

By Robael Enyew at Kennesaw State University on October 17, 2011

Each day more and more companies are making the decision to check social media applications such as Facebook and MySpace to gain further information about potential employees.

Social Media LogosMillions of people all around the world use social media applications to stay in contact with old friends, keep current friends up to date and even to make new ones. But most people who use these sites don’t think about their future careers with the items they post.

“Over 75 percent of companies check at least Facebook and MySpace when hiring now-a-days. It gives them a heads-up on what kind of a person they are and what you can expect from them,” said Nicholas Blake, a Human Resources department intern for Fabrico Company.

Companies began searching these sites a few years back but the amount of companies using this method has increased drastically each year. Companies have to be weary using this method though.

While checking these sites companies have to be cautious that any decision they make using these references cannot be linked to discrimination of any sort. Many companies, such as Fabrico, have used legal counsel before using these tools, to be certain they are not making any mistakes.

Cohen Cooke, an ex-intern in the hiring department at Honda Financial Services, has checked hundreds of social media accounts of people applying for jobs.

“It’s amazing to see how much people seem like they don’t care what they put on their profiles. Now Facebook and MySpace advise the users to change privacy settings more often but, man, it used to be so easy to find pictures of people smoking weed or just doing things you would never want your boss to find out about,” said Cooke.

Cooke began to also explain most companies never make the decision to hire or not completely based on what is found. It is more of an additional resource rather than a “game-changer.”

A company looking at two identical resumes with equal interest in both parties may go to the Facebook pages of the applicants and see photos one person passed out drunk on the side walk and the other applicant volunteering for a shelter.

Although both things are legal and allowed, most companies are searching for people who will represent the company well and also be reliable after being hired.

A picture of someone passed out could insinuate that the person likes to drink and party a lot leaving room for judgment that the person may miss days or be late due to these activities.

Social media applications have a much larger effect on a person than just pleasure. Future and current users need to be cautious of what they post. Whether someone is looking for a job or already has one, these media tools can end and eliminate chances in a matter of seconds.

J.P.R.O.F.

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GoldenGateXpress: New ban on cell phones aims to curb incidence of train accidents

By  Michael Huber at San Francisco State University

  • The use of cell phones and electronic devices is now illegal for all rail operators on duty
  • Cameras will be installed in the trains’ cabins to monitor operator activity
  • The San Francisco Metro Transit Authority has three years to install the cameras

    A Muni train stops at Holloway Avenue in front of SF State on Oct. 17, 2011. MUNI recently proposed plans to install cameras in the drivers' cabs to monitor activities. Photo by Jessica Goss.

Most people are finally beginning to understand the dangers of using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. Now, the risk posed by train operators using such devices is becoming equally apparent.

Earlier this month the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimously to make the use of cell phones and electronic devices illegal for all rail operators on duty. Cameras will be installed in the front of all cabins that do not already have one to make sure the rule is being followed.

All state-run California transportation agencies have been given a deadline of three years to finish the task. The CPUC passed an emergency order to ban cell phone use three years ago in response to a September 2008 train accident in Southern California, causing 25 deaths and many injuries. Investigators later found that operators of both vehicles involved in the crash were using their cell phones, according to the CPUC.

“The crash occurred in Southern California when a metro passenger train collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train,” said Susan Carothers, a spokeswoman for CPUC. “The metro train failed to stop at a red light signal because (the driver) was texting with his cell phone. Six days later the emergency order was passed, and now it’s the law.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYkeUL_ANIY[/youtube]

According to the new Muni order, all personal electronics must be turned off and stowed away by any person on duty. There has been no word yet on the amount of money it will cost to add cameras to all of the rail lines, or if it will cause delays in commuting while the trains are under maintenance.

“Most of the lines already have cameras, but this will require an extra component,” said Paul Rose, a spokesman for Muni. “We’re currently getting proposals and then we will have a better understanding of what the cost will be.”

Cameras will continuously record the operators and the footage will be reviewed not only after accidents, but also during routine spot checks. For some commuters, the amount of money required for this project is far less of a concern than safety.

“Granted we need to spend money on schools and things, but I feel like our safety is something we need to spend money on,” said Stephanie Wangler, a San Francisco commuter. “I support it if it will keep us safe.”

With the deadline not for another three years, the San Francisco Metro Transit Authority has plenty of time to install the new cameras without it having a serious impact on delaying buses for day-to-day commuters.

This article was edited and re-packaged by Michelle La Vone, a member of the ICONN News Stream at the University of Tennessee. Please direct any comments or questions to mlavone@utk.edu.

Kennesaw Communication: Social Media and Company Hires

  • Hiring managers at companies check social media profiles of potential employees
  • Companies cannot use social media information for discriminatory purposes
  • Looking for a job? Highlight your community service on social media

By Robael Enyew at Kennesaw State University on October 17, 2011

Each day more and more companies are making the decision to check social media applications such as Facebook and MySpace to gain further information about potential employees.

Social Media LogosMillions of people all around the world use social media applications to stay in contact with old friends, keep current friends up to date and even to make new ones. But most people who use these sites don’t think about their future careers with the items they post.

“Over 75 percent of companies check at least Facebook and MySpace when hiring now-a-days. It gives them a heads-up on what kind of a person they are and what you can expect from them,” said Nicholas Blake, a Human Resources department intern for Fabrico Company.

Companies began searching these sites a few years back but the amount of companies using this method has increased drastically each year. Companies have to be weary using this method though.

While checking these sites companies have to be cautious that any decision they make using these references cannot be linked to discrimination of any sort. Many companies, such as Fabrico, have used legal counsel before using these tools, to be certain they are not making any mistakes.

Cohen Cooke, an ex-intern in the hiring department at Honda Financial Services, has checked hundreds of social media accounts of people applying for jobs.

“It’s amazing to see how much people seem like they don’t care what they put on their profiles. Now Facebook and MySpace advise the users to change privacy settings more often but, man, it used to be so easy to find pictures of people smoking weed or just doing things you would never want your boss to find out about,” said Cooke.

Cooke began to also explain most companies never make the decision to hire or not completely based on what is found. It is more of an additional resource rather than a “game-changer.”

A company looking at two identical resumes with equal interest in both parties may go to the Facebook pages of the applicants and see photos one person passed out drunk on the side walk and the other applicant volunteering for a shelter.

Although both things are legal and allowed, most companies are searching for people who will represent the company well and also be reliable after being hired.

A picture of someone passed out could insinuate that the person likes to drink and party a lot leaving room for judgment that the person may miss days or be late due to these activities.

Social media applications have a much larger effect on a person than just pleasure. Future and current users need to be cautious of what they post. Whether someone is looking for a job or already has one, these media tools can end and eliminate chances in a matter of seconds.

J.P.R.O.F.

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SMU Video: Campus Adderall abuse causes concern

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/30273714[/vimeo]

By Summer Dashe, writer at Southern Methodist University’s Daily Campus.

  •  Students across America are depending on drugs like adderall to help them focus and study.
  • Adderall is prescribed for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • If used inappropriately, adderall can cause heart problems and brain disorders

It is the academic version of steroids, only easier to get. It is a drug that inhibits focus and energy; two side effects college students would pay, steal and pop pills for.

“I think there’s too many of them, too many kids taking it that don’t really need it,” Howard Darby, a CVS pharmacist, said.

When asked to speak on adderall issues, most students were reluctant and declined. The problem is not that student’s don’t know it’s wrong, it’s that it has become somewhat of a social norm.

SMU Daily Mustang

SMU Daily Mustang

Adderall and related drugs are prescribed to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and are in a class of drugs known as central nervous system stimulants. Students use the drug to help them focus on their studies.

“Some students get it from their friends, some get it illegally online,” John Sanger, a drug councilor at the Memorial Health Center, said.

It is popular, according to Darby, and easy to get. Many students, who would not allow their names to be published, said their friends would either give them the drug or sell it to them. They said everyone knows someone who has it and everyone knows someone willing to give it up.

Students’ talk about adderall like ibuprofen, you simply take it when you need it and it helps you. There is a nonchalant vibe surrounding the drug and one that is generally campus wide. It is a federal crime to sell the drug, but that doesn’t stop 51 percent of students on this campus. It is a federal crime to sell the drug, but that doesn’t stop 51 percent of 50 randomly polled SMU students, who admitted to using the drug even though they did not have a prescription.

It has become as common as cough drops. One staff member said he finds the little blue and pink pills laying around classrooms weekly. Those little colorful pills can be more harmful than most students are aware.

“You have to think about that, if you’re taking someone else’s prescription that that drug is not designed for you,” Alison Mcdonagh, a junior SMU student prescribed adderall for ADHD, said.

Adderall and related drugs are addictive. They can cause serious heart problems and mental impairment. Mcdonagh says she has to hide her prescription out of fear that someone may attempt to steal it. She also said having the drug causes pressure since it is a drug “that is high in demand.”

Universities across the country are experiencing the adderall epidemic. According to a national statistic, six percent of college students have abused adderall. The number is much higher at SMU according to the poll.

Students who abuse adderall are much more likely to abuse other illegal drugs. Studies show that prescription drug abuse often leads to other drug abuse. Much like marijuana being the gateway drug to illegal drugs, adderall seems to be a gateway drug to prescription drug abuse.

Many young people are involved in sex crimes when they do drugs, so drugs abuse has become a serious issue that can dramatically change person’s life.

It’s a problem officials say they don’t know how to fight. According to the Memorial Health Center, nothing is currently being done to diminish the abuse of adderall on the SMU campus. However, they do offer education on prescription drug abuse.

 

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Editor: Anna Hall, Intercollegiate Online News Network

GoldenGateXpress: Dream Act signed into law

By Sandra Lopez at San Francisco State University

  • AB 130 was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July
  • AB 131 allows undocumented students to apply for state scholarships
  • More than 2,500 students are expected to qualify; qualification based on financial need and academic integrity

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Oct. 8 that will extend educational opportunities to undocumented students, granting them eligibility to receive state financial aid in California universities and community colleges.

AB 131, also known as the second part of the California Dream Act, will allow undocumented students who are accepted into state universities to apply for Cal-Grants and other state-based funds starting in 2013.

“Going to college is a dream that promises intellectual excitement and creative thinking. The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us,” said Brown in a statement.

In July, Gov. Brown signed into law AB 130, the first part of the California Dream Act, which allows students who are eligible for AB 540 to have access to $80 million in private scholarships.

The California Department of Finance estimates that 2,500 students under the reach of AB 131 will qualify for Cal Grants. The Cal Grant program is funded at $1.4 billion. As a result of AB 131, $14.5 million, or 1 percent of all Cal Grant funds, will be used for undocumented students once the law takes effect.

In order to be eligible for AB 131, students must qualify for AB 540 in addition to demonstrating financial need and academic integrity.

Points and Clicks: Oct. 14, 2011

Points and Clicks is the administrator’s newsletter for the Intercollegiate Online News Network. The Points are things you should consider to improve your news website. The Clicks are good things that are happening with members of the network.

Points

Pay attention to excerpts

The excerpt is WordPress’ word for summaries. Every post should have one. Summaries show up as text under the headline on the home page and section pages. A well-written excerpt is an excellent supplement to the headline and can give readers lots of information — and a good reason to click on the link to the story.

Need help writing summaries? Take a look at this JPROF page on writing summaries.

Multimedia editing

We’ve put together a list of items that our ICONN NewsStream editors should consider when they pick up a story from a member website and enhance it for the news stream. It’s actually a pretty good list of things for your students to do if you are trying to teach multimedia editing. You might want to take a look. This is a work in progress, so if you have any suggestions, let us know.

Workshops: One down and three to go

We just completed our first online mini-workshop this week. Lisa Gary did an excellent job in leading the participants through a good session on Feature Writing. We still have three more to go, and there are spaces remaining in each:

  • Managing Your News Website, Oct. 23-27
  • Basics of Photojournalism, Nov. 6-9
  • Teaching Sports Reporting, Nov. 13-17

You can find out more — and find a link to the registration page — here on the JN-21.com website.

Questions about JeffersonNet

We now have a community forum where you can post questions about JeffersonNet and many other topics that we deal with at ICONN. Just register (all we ask for is a username and password) and join the discussion.

Clicks

Welcome to the network

Two new sites have joined the network this week: — TheVentureOnline at the University of Houston and DatelineAlabama at the University of Alabama.

The Venture, according to the About page, is ”the only multi-university collegiate newspaper for Latinos, has a circulation of 4,000 and publishes monthly during the academic year. The newspaper dates back to 2009 when it began as a news website under the name uhelgato.com. Months after it was launched, the website was nominated by the Associated Collegiate Press for Online Newspaper of the Year. . . .” The administrator of the site is Ray Ruiz.

DatelineAlabama is the news website of the Department of Journalism at the University of Alabama. It dates back to the year 2000, making it one of the oldest collegiate news websites around. Its administrators are Chip Brantley and George Daniels.

Welcome to both sites.

ICONN NewsStream

The ICONN NewsStream has been launched with Chris Thomas leading a set of editors at the University of Tennessee. The hope is that they will be joined by editors from other campuses soon.

SMU Video: Campus Adderall abuse causes concern

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/30273714[/vimeo]

By Summer Dashe, writer at Southern Methodist University’s Daily Campus.

  •  Students across America are depending on drugs like adderall to help them focus and study.
  • Adderall is prescribed for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • If used inappropriately, adderall can cause heart problems and brain disorders

It is the academic version of steroids, only easier to get. It is a drug that inhibits focus and energy; two side effects college students would pay, steal and pop pills for.

“I think there’s too many of them, too many kids taking it that don’t really need it. What’s worse is almost half of them end up in an alcohol rehab,” Howard Darby, a CVS pharmacist, said.

When asked to speak on adderall issues, most students were reluctant and declined. The problem is not that student’s don’t know it’s wrong, it’s that it has become somewhat of a social norm.

SMU Daily Mustang

SMU Daily Mustang

Adderall and related drugs are prescribed to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and are in a class of drugs known as central nervous system stimulants. Students use the drug to help them focus on their studies.

“Some students get it from their friends, some get it illegally online,” John Sanger, a drug councilor at the Memorial Health Center, said.

It is popular, according to Darby, and easy to get. Many students, who would not allow their names to be published, said their friends would either give them the drug or sell it to them. They said everyone knows someone who has it and everyone knows someone willing to give it up.

Students’ talk about adderall like ibuprofen, you simply take it when you need it and it helps you. There is a nonchalant vibe surrounding the drug and one that is generally campus wide. It is a federal crime to sell the drug, but that doesn’t stop 51 percent of students on this campus. Out of 50 students polled, 51 percent admitted to using the drug even though they did not have a prescription.

It has become as common as cough drops. One staff member said he finds the little blue and pink pills laying around classrooms weekly. Those little colorful pills can be more harmful than most students are aware.

“You have to think about that, if you’re taking someone else’s prescription that that drug is not designed for you,” Alison Mcdonagh, a junior SMU student prescribed adderall for ADHD, said.

Adderall and related drugs are addictive. They can cause serious heart problems and mental impairment. Mcdonagh says she has to hide her prescription out of fear that someone may attempt to steal it. She also said having the drug causes pressure since it is a drug “that is high in demand.”

Universities across the country are experiencing the adderall epidemic. According to a national statistic, six percent of college students have abused adderall. The number is much higher at SMU according to the poll.

Students who abuse adderall are much more likely to abuse other illegal drugs. Studies show that prescription drug abuse often leads to other drug abuse. Much like marijuana being the gateway drug to illegal drugs, adderall seems to be a gateway drug to prescription drug abuse.

It’s a problem officials say they don’t know how to fight. According to the Memorial Health Center, nothing is currently being done to diminish the abuse of adderall on the SMU campus. However, they do offer education on prescription drug abuse.

 

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Editor: Anna Hall, Intercollegiate Online News Network