Wednesday, April 29, 2009


At first I thought it was just stupid and I didn't care. Now I want it to go away. It's too close. Why won't people just stay away from pigs?! God damnit!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Greetings, HS 102 and HS 103!

Hello class and welcome to my blog, Best Friend For Lifelong! Since we'll be talking about how newspapers are failing because of competition from blogs, I figured this would be the perfect venue to show you my research!

To begin, let's look at the state of newspapers today. To put it mildly: it's not so good. Circulation rates are dropping, readership is declining, staff sizes are shrinking, and some of the biggest newspapers in the country are closing.

QUESTION: Can you name some of the biggest daily newspapers in America? Give me as many as you can.

Well, according to TIME magazine, a lot of the papers you just named will close in less than two years. Wuh wuh.

Ten Major Newspapers in Danger

There's no denying newspapers are in bad shape right now. Look no further than newspapers themselves for testimony. In the course of my research, it was never hard to find an article in a newspaper or magazine about how hard newspapers and magazines are having it. Check out this website, which is dedicated to chronicling "the decline of newspapers and the rebirth of journalism." Ouch.

Newspaper Death Watch

And look at these sites too, which are also interested in detailing the "End of Newspapers."

Paper Cuts- Layoffs and buyouts at U.S. newspapers in 2009

The Demise of Print- A chronicle of publications that were once found in print, but now only exist on the Internet

QUESTION: What do you like least about newspapers?

So clearly, print newspapers are not satisfying the needs of the customer. One study I found identified some of the most common complaints:
  1. Schoolwork and jobs make energy for reading news limited, and reading a print newspaper is time-consuming.
  2. The delivery approaches of newspapers were too dated and slow, and nobody has patience for yesterday’s news.
  3. Newspapers are too long and filled with trivial or gossipy information.
  4. Budgets cannot accommodate the price of a daily newspaper.
In other words, newspapers are elitist, they are aloof, they are boring, they are trivial, they are expensive, and they are slow. Dang.

Their websites are not doing much better. The biggest problem with newspaper websites is that they too closely resemble the print edition of the newspaper. There's not enough exclusive content, the layout resembles the layout of the print paper, etc.

QUESTION: Why are these websites so unappealing?

Daily Express- Ewww!

The Independent
- Small font! Multi-sentence paragraphs! Uh- oh!

The Daily Mail-
Again, font is too small! No subheadings!

Meanwhile, there are now lots of alternatives to newspapers on the Internet --- namely, news blogs. While they certainly have problems of their own, they seem to better give audiences what they want: participation and news on demand, among other things. First, here are some good participatory journalism sites, where people can write the news:

iReport- Accepts video, photos and audio from a computer or cell phone. A compilation of news items submitted by citizen journalism.

Babblestorm- People in the UK sharing items of interest to discuss and rank the latest news items. Create a profile and submit content.

Feed the Bull- User-driven, social content site where people submit, comment, and vote on financial news articles. Every user can feed (help promote), starve (remove spam), and comment on the items posted.

Associated Content- AC's platform enables anyone to participate in the new content economy by publishing content on any topic, in any format (text, video, audio and images), and connects that content to consumers, partners and advertisers.

Now, here are some of the best blogs on the Internet. Increasingly, audiences are turning to these instead of newspapers.

QUESTION: Can you tell me why people might like these blogs?

As we look at these blogs let's discuss transparency (hyperlinks), objectivity, accuracy, trust, and fairness. These are things that make people love blogs and they are things that make people hate blogs.

Huffington Post- The mac daddy of news blogs

Daily Kos- a liberal politcal blog

The Daily Dish- authored by The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan.

The Caucus- the politics and government blog of the New York Times

Talking Points Memo- a liberal political blog authored by John Marshall, a former print journalist.

There's a lot of arguing about which provides the best model for journalism-- blogs or newspapers. But truthfully neither one is better than the other. So why can't they be friends? The media ecosystem depends on every medium working together in harmony! These blogs, for instance, could make newspapers better.

Regret the error- This one exposes errors in newspapers. If newspapers payed attention to this, they would probably make fewer errors.

- This one "exposes liberal media bias." I mean, a less biased media is good, no? Even if you don't believe this sort of thing?

And newspapers make blogs better by calling them out when they make mistakes. They also provide information to the public that blogs can't, such as news on police and government goings-on.

Still, if newspapers don't adapt to the new media environment, they're going to go extinct. That's bad! The last part of my paper describes what newspapers could do to get their readers back. One of the things they need to do is get better websites.

Here are some of the best major newspaper websites
. If all newspaper sites were like this one, the industry as a whole would be better off. These websites are great because they are updated constantly, they have great layouts, and they use all different types of media including video and stills/audio. They also have their very own blogs!

New York Times- the cream of the crop, in my opinion. Let's look at their Travel section, their blogs, and the One in 8 Million feature.

USA Today
- has everything a good newspaper website should-- video, blogs, and exclusive online content. Let's look at The Day in Pictures, Games, and the Interactive Graphics.


Well, they should. If newspapers keep doing what the Times and USA Today are doing, then they may very well get to see the other side of this mess. This blog here shows you that there is hope for newspapers. But they've got to get to work, quickly!

What's Next: Innovations in Newspapers- specifically let's look at the post, "Something New Is Cooking In Portugal"


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ladies and gents, please check out my friend Rachael's blog today. She created a hilarious Mad Lib for how to write a Sufjan Stevens song! Personally, it brought me tremendous lulz!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



This is certainly one of the best websites I've ever been on ever. Check it out for yourself.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This is Boston when it's sad and lonely.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Did you know the Bushes had a pet? (ABOVE: An actual photo of the cat, India)

More specifically, did you know that the Bushes had a pet that could have been a lolcat superstar?

This is just one little example I cooked up but I can think of a million. India was one in a million. But no one cared.

I therefore declare this India Awareness Week!

America Fail

"Now I find my happiness in knowing and serving God. Everything else falls into place after that." Except for this. Happy 3rd Place, America's hopes and dreams!

" overall goal is to win in Boston." Well, it's not your overall reality. Oops.

"This Monday, I will run one mile (or as much as I can without getting pulled out) of the Boston Marathon in a gorilla suit." Last but not least-- arguably the biggest fail of the day: mine. I went down to Copley to do my report for journalism class and the place was mobbed. There were barricades everywhere and cops everywhere. It was impossible. Plus I was scared. So I backed out. And now I apologize to my loyal blog followers, to my friends, to my family, and most importantly, to America.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What I will be like in 10 years according to Hallie

Jordan, a macaroni noodle of a man. Jordan became a chef and makes all different kinds of pasta and puts cheese on them. He is also a pimp and has more lady friends than he can count. He is something of a modern day Hue Heffner. He lives in a mansion shaped like a J from the top and spends lots of time in his jacoozi. When he isn’t cooking or hanging with the biddies he travels to the far reaches of the earth to help underpriveledged children. What a guy.

"Each day we die a little more."- Strong Sad

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Welcome to Emerson!

It's tour season! I wrote a script for the tour guides to give the "real deal" sense of what Emerson is like.

Lady: So can you tell me about the students here?
Me: Emerson boasts one of the most diverse student populations in the country. Students vary from snow white to ivory colored to cream colored. The students also have a wide variety of political views including: liberal, very liberal, Democrat, and socialist. They also have a range of career aspirations including: being unemployed and being world famous.

Lady: What do they do for fun?
Me: Emerson kids do all sorts of activities. Some students like to sit in their rooms and listen to fuckin indie music while others like to go out and listen to live fuckin indie music. Other students like to sit in trees, play "who's in my mouth," and re-read Chuck Palanuck novels. On weekends, students like to smoke, drink, drink, smoke, and do illegals.

Lady: What's the sex life like here?
Me: Emerson kids have some of the most diverse sex in the world. Options include getting fucked anally and getting fucked anally. There are lots of places to do it including the common room, the laundry room, the hallway, your teacher, the dining hall, and the elevators. You can do it with a person of your same gender, a different gender, a different species, or yourself!

Lady: Can you tell me about classes?
Me: Classes are optional. Everyone gets an A. If you actually do the work you also get a sticker.

Lady: What are some of the most common complaints you hear from the students?
Me: "The walk from 80 to 120 boylston is too long!" "my pants got baggier in the wash!" "President Leebergut looked at me weird!" "My butt hurts!" and "The Animal Collective CD is sold out!"

Lady: What is the fashion like?
Me: Emerson is fashion forward. Kids like to wear pants that reduce their sperm count, shirts that reduce their sperm count, and hoodies that reduce your sperm count. Most common shopping spots are H&M, Urban Outfitters, and the garbage.

Lady: What is financial aid like?
Me: Students get all sorts of financial aid. They could get as much as 5 dollars per semester in aid! Other students just get fucked in the asshole.


Saw this amazing window painting on the way down to Rotch Field this week. What a beautiful family.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just sayin, guys

TIME says Facebook is bad for you. A new study shows that Facebook users have worse grades overall than non-users.

"The study, which will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association on April 16, surveyed 219 undergraduate and graduate students and found that GPAs of Facebook users typically ranged a full grade point lower than those of nonusers — 3.0 to 3.5 for users versus 3.5 to 4.0 for their non-networking peers. It also found that 79% of Facebook members did not believe there was any link between their GPA and their networking habits."

"Karpinski and Duberstein's study isn't the first to associate Facebook with diminished mental abilities. In February, Oxford University neuroscientist Susan Greenfield cautioned Britain's House of Lords that social networks like Facebook and Bebo were "infantilizing the brain into the state of small children" by shortening the attention span and providing constant instant gratification. And in his new book, UCLA neuroscientist Gary Small warns of a decreased ability among devotees of social networks and other modern technology to read real-life facial expressions and understand the emotional context of subtle gestures. Young people are particularly at risk for these problems, he writes, because "young minds tend to be the most sensitive, as well as the most exposed, to digital technology."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This Monday, I will run one mile (or as much as I can without getting pulled out) of the Boston Marathon in a gorilla suit.
Photos and videos will follow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"You’ve said good-bye to everyone but yourself. How does a person say good-bye to himself? It’s a juicy existential dilemma.”- White Noise by Don DeLillo

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"There's nothing on network. Not a word, not a picture. On the Glassboro channel we rate fifty-two words by actual count. No film footage, no live report. Does this kind of thing happen so often that nobody cares anymore? Don't those people know what we've been through? We were scared to death. We still are. We left our homes, we drove through blizzards, we saw the cloud. It was a deadly specter, right there above us. Is it possible nobody gives substantial coverage to such a thing? Half a minute, twenty seconds? Are they telling us it was insignificant, it was piddling? Are they so callous? Are they so bored by spills and contaminations and wastes? Do they think this is just television? 'There's to much television already -- why show more?' Don't thety know it's real? Shouldn't the streets be crawling with cameramen and soundmen and reporters? Shouldn't we be yelling out the window at them, 'Leave us alone, we've been through enough, get out of here your vile instruments of intrustion.' Do they have to have two hundred dead, rare disaster footage, before they come flocking to a given site in their helicoptersa nd network limos? What exactly has to happen before they stick microphones in our faces and hound us to the doorsteps of our homes, camping out on our lawns, creating the usual media circus? Haven't we earned the right to despise their idiot questions? Look at us in this place. We are quarantined. We are like lepers in the medieval times. They won't let us out of here. They leave food at the foot of the stairs and tiptoe away to safety. This is the most terrifying time of our lives. Everything we love and have worked for is under serious threat. But we look around and see no response from the official organs of ht media. The airborne toxic event is a horrifying thing. Our fear is enormous. Even if htere hasn't been great loss of life, don't we deserve some attention for our suffering, our human worry, our terror? Isn't fear news?"- White Noise, by Don DeLillo

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A video I made using a Flip video camera for my journalism class.
"A person has all sorts of lags built into him, Kesey is saying. One, the most basic, is the sensory lag, the lag between the time your senses receive something and you are able to react. One-thirtieth of a second is the time it takes, if you're the most alert person alive, and most people are a lot slower than that. Now, Cassady is right up against that 1/30th of a second barrier. He is going as fast as a human can go, but even he can't overcome it. He is a living example of how close you can come, but it can't be done. You can't go any faster than that. You can't throuhgh sheer speed overcome the lag. We are all of us doomed to spend our lives watching a movie of our lives -- we are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we're in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past, and we will really never be able to control the present through ordinary means. That lag has to be overcome some other way, through some kind of total breakthrough. And there are all sorts of other lags, besides, that go along with it. There are historical and social lags, perceived, and they may be twenty-five or fifty years or centuries behind, and nobody can be creative without overcoming all those lags first of all. A person can overcome that much through intellect or theory or study of history and so forth and get pretty much into the present that way, but he's still going to be up against one o the worst lags of all, the psychological. Your emotions remain behind because of training, education, the way you were brought up, blocks, hangups and stuf like that, and as a result your mind wants to go one way but your emotions don't --" The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Friday, April 10, 2009

Stairway to Heaven

Check it out on my flickr

Thursday, April 9, 2009


"These people (and they are numerous) are attempting to cultivate a cute quirk, but they are really just aping a cute quirk cultivated by thousands of cute-quirk-cultivators before them in a giant, gross, boring feedback loop. Yes, clowns can be mildly creepy. But come on. Among the many things that are scarier than clowns: fire, earthquakes, a guy with a knife, riding the bus, colon cancer, falling down the stairs (it could happen at any time!), rapists, people who just kind of look a little rapey and are standing too close to you in line at 7-Eleven, Marlo from The Wire, influenza, and scissors." —The Different Kinds of People" from Seattle's The Stranger independent newspaper

Saw this on the New York Magazine site today, and all I have to say is...


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Whatthefuck doga

If this isn't the dumbest thing the world has ever seen, I don't know what is.
"None of us are going to deny what other people are doing. If saying bullshit is somebody's thing, then he says bullshit. if somebody is an ass-kicker, then that's what he's going to do on this trip, kick asses. He's going to doi t right out front and nobody is going to have anything to get pissed off about. he can just say 'I'm sorry I kicked you in the ass, but I'm not sorry I'm an ass-kicker. That's what I do, I kick people in the ass.' Everybody is going to be what they are, and whatever they are, there's not going to be anything to apologize about. What we are, we're going to wail with on this whole trip." Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Trip

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Irrawaddy dolphins

I'll take ten.

Monday, April 6, 2009

In the movie Changeling, a woman named Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) returns home to find that her nine-year-old son has disappeared. After a five month investigation by the police, a boy is brought to Los Angeles from Illinois. The LAPD tell Christine and everyone else that the boy is her son. The boy was not her son.

This is every mother's worst fear. And it is one of my worst fears. And one of the worst realities! Because this happened to me once and it happened to all of you, too.

One time last year I was into Roseanne (not apologizing for it). In the fifth season, the oldest daughter on the show, Becky, leaves home to marry her boyfriend Mark in Minneapolis. When this happened, of course, I was distressed. I asked myself: how would the family dynamic stay the same without the presence of this stupid bitch?

In the sixth season, something even more horrifying happened. Becky was back, but it wasn't really Becky! The original actress, Lecy Goranson was gone, only to be replaced by someone new-- Sarah Chalke! While I'll admit Sarah Chalke was a huge improvement over that other bitch, I couldn't help but feel like Christine in Changeling! I wanted my son (Becky) back! And I hated the LAPD (the writers of Roseanne) for trying to put the wool over my eyes.

This is not an uncommon situation. Shows do this all the time-- steal our sons and pretend like nothing happened when they are replaced! Remember Ross's ex-wife Carol on Friends? Harley Keiner on Boy Meets World? Whatever happened to them, huh?

At the end of Changeling, one of the other boys imprisoned with Christine's son is found alive. He tells Christine that one day Walter escaped, giving Christine hope that her son is also alive somewhere. It is a happyish ending, one that inspired me and still gives me faith to this day. Somewhere, I wonder if the real Becky is being a bitch, and the real Harvey is being an asshole, and the real Carol is being a lesbian. Someday, I hope, they will return.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lacrosse is weird. Have you ever been to a lacrosse game? It's weird. What happens is you pick up the ball and start running with it. Then people smack you on your head, shoulders, legs, and chest until you drop it. Then you do the same to them. That's it. I think that's why it's not a real world sport, because it's dumb and doesn't make sense to adults.

Took this photo for the newspaper today. It was my first lacrosse game ever. Now I know I never need to see another one!
When I was in 7th grade, this was all I aspired to:

There are certain people I just cannot understand.

You've met this type. He's male. Kind of bro-y. Very chill. You meet him for the first time and ask him what he's in to. He responds:

BRO: Uh...I don't And, like....eating?

This is simply preposterous. Your interests are SURVIVING?

Dude, EVERYONE likes to sleep and eat! We're humans! It's what we do! But for most of us, those things are not interests, they're necessities. Fully developed people have real interests, like wakeboarding or stamp collecting or bird watching.

So, yes, I simply cannot understand people who have been on this earth for like twenty years and still haven't found something more interesting than simply staying alive.

Okay I'm done.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The release of several 3D movies this year including Coraline, Monsters vs. Aliens, Bolt, and Journey to the Center of the Earth has some, including Josh Quittner of TIME magazine, wondering if 3D is the future of film making. I have some concerns about this idea.

In his article, Quittner described watching 3D film as some kind of mind-blowing relgious experience:

The lights dim in the screening room. Suddenly, the doomed Titanic fills the screen--but not the way I remember in the movie. The luxury liner is nearly vertical, starting its slide into the black Atlantic, and Leonardo DiCaprio is hanging on for life, just like always. But this time, I am too. The camera pans to the icy water far below, pulling me into the scene--the sensation reminds me of jerking awake from a dream--and I grip the sides of my seat to keep from falling into the drink.
For me, this description is problematic. And by" problematic," I mean totally exaggerated.

I've seen Monsters vs. Aliens (don't tell anyone). I've seen Coraline. And let me tell you, I was not gripping the sides of my seat, and I was not hanging on for dear life. Don't get me wrong though. I thought it was pretty cool. But the most important part of that sentence was the "pretty" and not the "cool." The thing is, I am a product of the 21st century, and my expectations of 3D are probably a lot different than Josh Quittner's.

When I shell out fifteen dollars to see a 3D film I don't really want to see a film, I want the equivalent of a Disneyworld ride. I want shit to be flying everywhere off the screen. I want things rushing past me, I want things going nuts on every side, I want to grab at the empty space in front of me, thinking that there's actually something there. That's the 3D I care about. But it's not the 3D I've seen. When I saw Monsters vs. Aliens it actually seemed as though the characters were placed further into the screen than usual.

I don't blame studios for pursuing the 3D idea. I understand that it's becoming harder to justify spending money on a movie when it's so easy to watch this stuff on TV or on the computer free of charge. The truth: 3D is a good gimmick, and it seems like a good way to get people to make the trip to the theater. But it won't last unless shit starts popping out of the screen.

At least, I certainly won't be going to see another 3D movie unless someone reassures me that they've figured this out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

In all my years I have never come across such a specimen, until yesterday! What IS it? How did it GET here? What would you CALL it? Halvsie? I don't know. Must be some crazy inbreeding going on in the Boston Common.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"The mass media causes sexual misdirection: It prompts us to need something deeper than what we want. This is why Woody Allen has made nebbish guys cool; he makes people assume that there is something profound about having a relationship based on witty conversation and intellectual discourse. There isn't. It's just another gimmick, and it's no different than wanting to be with someone because they're thin or rich or the former lead singer of Whiskeytown. And it actually might be worse, because an intellectual relationship isn't real at all."- Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, Pages 6-7


Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Look guys, I'm Carl Sagan!

I was playing on my compy and the similarity struck me. Lol.

Just saw the whiniest fucking article ever on the New York Times website.

Oh my god, poor Emily! Her mom, like, totally couldn't get her tickets to see the JoBros because getting shit on the Internet is like, really really hard. Doesn't life just suck mega hard sometimes?