Peace and Quiet with Bose Headphones

I love my Bose headphones! They give me peace and quiet while I try to work. They’re super comfortable and I love their cool design. The quality of sound and its ability to block out background noise is better than any other pair of headphones I’ve used. Pick up a pair for yourself and experience the difference!

I love my Bose headphones! Enjoy peace and quiet and get your work done! #CreComm @kentonlarsen

A post shared by Josh Houston (@joshua.houston) on

Bowman changing the team, why is it news?

Today’s front page story for the Winnipeg Free Press is “Mayor bounces dissidents from cabinet”

The article is about Brian Bowman removing two councillors, Janice Lukes and Jeff Browaty from his executive policy committee. They have been replaced by Scott Gillingham and Cindy Gilroy.

What makes this story news-worthy is its proximity and impact. This is a change-up that can impact Winnipeggers in many ways, one of the most prominent being the growth fees that Bowman has proposed and have since been passed.

The growth fees have been controversial with many people lobbying against them, believing that adding more fees to new buildings would hinder the city more than it would help.

What made the editors give this story front page attention would be it’s impact. The changing of Bowman’s committee members, who opposed the growth fees could lead to some becoming suspicious that he’s removing committee members that disagreed with him, despite appointing Gillingham who also opposed the fees.

Executive policy committee members also get information from city administration before other non-members which can lead to major shifts in policies as Gilroy and Gillingham adjust to their roles.

 

The link to the article can be found here

 

 

Truth or Oil.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! was arrested for her coverage of the Dakota Access pipeline. Should she have been arrested?

No.

For background, The pipeline is meant to carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline has been opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as its path would both A.) run under the tribe’s water source, and B.) would destroy their sacred land.

How does Amy Goodman fit into this?

Goodman is a reporter for Democracy Now! and was covering the pipeline protest on September 3. During her coverage, protesters went over the fence between them and the pipeline workers. Protesters kept moving forward through the construction site as Goodman and her camera crew followed where they recorded protesters getting attacked by dogs and pepper sprayed.

After Goodman’s video went public, a warrant was issued for her arrest for trespassing, which was then changed to riot, both misdemeanors. The charges have since been dropped.

Honestly, it’s ridiculous to me that a journalist, who was doing her job covering a protest would be arrested. That’s the best way I can describe it. Ridiculous.

If there are people that should be arrested, it should be those from both the pipeline and the protesters who acted out in aggression, violating the right of peaceful assembly.

Goodman’s attempted arrest comes across as a move by Dakota Access to minimize as much media coverage of the pipeline’s construction as possible. A pipeline mind you, that’s had its opposition supported by the United Nations.

The day corporations begin charging journalists with weak offenses to prevent them from showing the rest of the world what is going on is the day we need to re-evaluate what we, as a society value. Truth, or oil.

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https://www.thenation.com/article/amy-goodman-is-facing-prison-for-reporting-on-the-dakota-access-pipeline-that-should-scare-us-all/

http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/The-UN-Backs-Tribal-Opposition-To-Dakota-Access-Pipeline.html

Dakota Access Pipeline Maps & Routes: Where Would It Go?

http://www.vox.com/2016/9/9/12862958/dakota-access-pipeline-fight

http://humanrightshouse.org/HRHN/Why_/The_right_to_peaceful_assembly/index.html

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/12/north_dakota_v_amy_goodman_arrest

http://www.daplpipelinefacts.com/about/route.html

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/6/full_exclusive_report_dakota_access_pipeline

 

 

 

The Write Stuff

The week’s challenge is to recommend a Twitter/blog for fellow CreComm students that I think would be helpful.

I choose The Write Practice.

The blog has free articles on four major topics: short stories, characterization, grammar, and interviewing. It also features a $15 standard and a $25 premium membership that includes additional training, weekly deadlines and critiques, and coaching calls.

Each of the free articles come with an exercise near the bottom of the page you can try after reading about our poor friend the semicolon, or how to tell less and show more, and even the seven words we should break-up with to be better writers. So, if you want to hone your skills, the site gives you some additional practice.

The articles are a short read too, so if you ever need a refresher on a certain grammar concept, or how to make your villain during a night of multiple revisions it won’t take up a lot of your time.

So, if you have a spare minute from our mountain of assignments, check out The Write Practice!

 

 

That Galaxy Far Away

When I was five, my dad took me and the family to see Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace.

The line was filled with dozens of Jedi and Sith, snaking its way out the doors. We inched our way closer and closer to the auditorium, and that galaxy far away as the theatre lobby kept getting louder from what must have been the chatter of people like my dad, eagerly waiting to see the characters they had grown up with like Luke, or the ever dependable R2-D2.

We finally made it to our seats after standing for a lifetime. Or at least, what a five year old Josh would consider a lifetime. The lights dimmed and the movie started in its grand Star Wars fashion. Honestly, I didn’t retain much of what was going on in terms of plot but there was one character I was drawn to, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Obi-Wan became my hero. When the climactic fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul took place I couldn’t help but mimic my new icon. I flung my arms left and right, shifting in my seat holding my invisible lightsaber. I went shot for shot with Darth Maul, and when Obi-Wan grabbed onto the fixture on the side of the bottomless pit, I threw my arms up in the air holding on to it too. Dad had to pull my arms back down to my sides so I wouldn’t block anyone’s view but really, I think he was secretly working with the Sith.

From that point on, I was hooked on Star Wars. For the next six years, whenever the next movie came out we’d be there opening day. School day or not, we’d be there.

When the last movie of the prequel trilogy came out in 2005, I thought that would be the end for Star Wars. The story was finished, and we wouldn’t go back.

That was until last Christmas, when the force awakened, and I got to go back to that time when I was five, in that galaxy far away.

 

 

Six Strings

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I was 18, freshly dumped, and out of high school.

I sat alone, in my room listening to Matchbox Twenty CDs over and over again. It came to a point where I felt less upset that the relationship ended, and I became more upset with myself that I wasn’t doing anything to get over it.

I went into the basement to dig out some old video games from the storage bins trying to distract myself when I saw my sister’s old black acoustic guitar. I made the decision that I was going to learn to play the thing and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. I threw what was in my hands back in the bin, grabbed the guitar and the stand, and ran up the stairs into my room.

I slammed my door shut and I sat on my bed holding the guitar. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know the first thing about music, aside from what bands I liked. I spent hours watching dozens of videos on YouTube. I watched videos on the names of the parts of a guitar, the notes of each string until eventually, I watched a tutorial for beginners on E minor, and A minor, the video’s alleged easiest guitar chords.

I played that guitar any chance I got, after work, first thing in the morning. Anytime I could get my hands on it, I did. I sat in my room with the laptop watching concerts over and over again, idolizing guitarists like: Joshua Homme, Kyle Cook, and John Frusciante. There would be days that I would play the guitar for so long my fretting hand would feel like it was stuck in its claw like shape. But, I never thought of my old relationship anymore. All I thought about was playing, and getting better. Eventually, the old black guitar broke beyond repair, and was replaced with Winona, the red Squier Stratocaster.

What if I didn’t pick up that guitar? It’s hard to think what my life would have been like from that point on.

Without a doubt I wouldn’t have started a band with Axel and our rotating bass player line-up. I wouldn’t have Boots Electric, the ukulele named after Jesse Hughes. I would have stayed up in my room, feeling sorry for myself playing the same video games over again and not finding some way to be productive.

I wouldn’t have pushed myself into something new. I wouldn’t know the feeling of pride after learning a new song, or creating one from scratch.

Truthfully, I wouldn’t know that I could be creative.