Discussion Post: Week 13

We’re in for a short week, with Thanksgiving this Thursday. We’ve talked quite a bit about our individual presentations, but since we’re approaching the end of Presentation III, how do you feel about the way that your group work is coming together? Do you feel confident in the topic that your group selected (or, if you haven’t yet submitted a topic, what ideas has your group been discussing)? What challenges do you anticipate during our final round of presentations during the last week of class, and what will you do to overcome them?

Perhaps some of your parents were, at one time, high school cheerleaders. It’s less likely that any of them were cheerleaders when you were in high school, though. For a group of Michigan mothers, however, the situation is a little different. St. Ignace High School began the year without a cheer squad, as the student body was quite small (215 enrolled students) and, among those, there wasn’t much interest in getting involved. But when the school’s football team started off the season strong, and kept winning throughout the year — they remain undefeated as of Friday morning and remain legitimate state championship contenders — a group of moms decided to take action. More than a dozen of them donned their sons’ jerseys and created their own cheerleading squad. Reactions have been mostly supportive, although some of the players still aren’t sure what to think. As one senior put it, “Wow, that is my mom, she’s cheerleading, what’s going on?”

If you thought you were the world’s biggest fan of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you’re not. That honor, it would seem, belongs to Megan and Eric Kellermeyer… along with their son, Dovahkiin. If that last name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s also the name of Skyrim’s protagonist. The game’s developer, Bethesda, announced a publicity stunt in February that parents could win free Bethesda games for life by naming their child, who had to be born on November 11, after Dovahkiin. Megan and Eric Kellermeyer considered the name for months (and ultimately decided to use it whether or not their son met the November 11 birthday requirement). Let’s just hope their new bundle of joy likes video games, or that whole free-games-for-life deal will be such a waste. In any event, Bethesda’s publicity stunt has received considerably less attention than PETA’s recent Mario parody. Remember the Tanooki suit from Super Mario Bros. 3? Well, the animal-rights advocate tried to call attention to raccoon dog-skinning practices by creating a game of its own, in which a skinless Tanooki tries to recapture its skin from Mario. (A link to PETA’s game is in the article; due to its content, I’m not linking directly to it. Play at your own risk.) PETA representatives have since said that the game was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek joke, with no offense intended toward Nintendo or the Mario character, but many who played the bloody parody and read PETA’s earlier statements on the subject took the campaign quite literally.

In science news, scientists at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, CA have created a new, ultra-light solid based on the construction of the Eiffel Tower. The lattices they constructed have proven quite durable in laboratory tests, “bouncing back to their original shape even after being compressed to less than half their size.” They’re even lighter than aerogels and metallic foams, and unlike those other low-density materials, they have extremely organized structures rather than random connections between component particles. The structure, according to lead HRL scientist Tobias Schaedler, gives them significantly increased strength, much like the Eiffel Tower and Golden Gate Bridge are able to maintain greater height with smaller mass because of their unique architectural designs. Potential uses for the substance have not yet been fully explored, although impact protection and acoustic dampening are likely applications, but it’s still fascinating to see a manmade solid that can sit on top of a dandelion without damaging the seeds.

Let’s also return to the neutrino story from before. You’ll recall, from our previous discussions, that a group of physicists discovered what appeared to be neutrinos travelling faster than light. Such a finding, if true, would significantly transform the laws of physics, particularly Einstein’s special relativity, which heavily relies on the presumption that the speed of light serves as the “speed limit” for the universe. Given that this principle is part of the foundation of modern physics, though, many scientists suspected that the finding was more likely a measurement fluke or something of that nature, and called for the experiment to be run a second time to see if the results were replicable. On Friday, the results of that replication study were released, and again, the neutrinos appear to have beaten light to the finish line. As MSNBC reporter Alan Boyle put it,

The claim runs so counter to a century’s worth of physics that most observers won’t be content until the findings from the OPERA experiment are repeated under a variety of conditions, by different teams of researchers. If the results hold up, that would require a reinterpretation of Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which effectively sets the velocity of light in a vacuum as a cosmic speed limit.

Many possible sources of error were ruled out or at least reduced in this latest experiment. For instance, the neutrino pulses in the first experiment were quite long, which could have produced a great deal of measurement variation. In the second study, the pulse length was shortened and the time between them increased in order to reduce the potential for error. However, other possibilities are harder to rule out, including speculation that the neutrinos may have travelled through extra-dimensional space in order to reach their destination more quickly without moving at a faster rate of speed. In any event, these results will certainly undergo a great deal of additional testing before the scientific community as a whole backs the idea that the “universal speed limit” has been broken.

Finally, last week an Illinois water utility pump was destroyed after hackers gained unauthorized access to its control system, according to security expert Joe Weiss. The hack appears to have been directed toward the theft of vendor and customer information — which was successful — but during the hack, the system was powered on and off, ultimately burning out one of the water pumps. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are currently investigating the incident, which makes sense given popular speculation that similar attacks could devastate critical infrastructures. As of the time of this writing, however, customers have not been formally notified about whether their information was compromised, nor whether their water supply remains safe given the security breach.

That should be plenty for this week. You know the drill!

Other articles of interest:
Regis Philbin says goodbye on ‘Live!’
Former Packer Johnny Jolly is going away for six years
High School Spikes NFL Players’ Kind Donation
Is economy best birth control? US births dip again
Flying With Little Children? Go to the Back of the Plane
Automatic spending cuts a new threat to US economy
Democrats Seek Taxes in Deficit Cut as Republicans Doubt Passage
House rejects balanced budget amendment
Occupy Wall Street: What should be done with the protesters?
California university to investigate police use of pepper spray
Monti Wins Broad Support in Parliament
GOP debate in Iowa gets weepy
Why New Hampshire hasn’t joined the anti-Romney bandwagon
Egyptians Rally Demanding Military Cede Power
Violent Protests in Egypt Pit Thousands Against Police
Pakistan bans ‘obscene’ words on cell phone texts
Iran to boycott Middle East nuclear talks meeting
16 killed in Syria; government OKs idea of observers
Capture of Gaddafi son ends “Libyan drama”
Wildfire tears through Reno; 10,000 evacuated
Officials Say 32 Homes Destroyed in Reno Fire
Clock Ticks for Phobos-Grunt Mars Mission
NASA Mars mission to test planet for ability to sustain life
NASA Administrator Tells WHNT NEWS 19 He’s Now Hiring Astronauts
Physicists extract light from seeming emptiness
Is the New Physics Here? Atom Smashers Get an Antimatter Surprise
Science panel: Get ready for extreme weather
U.N. Panel Finds Climate Change Behind Some Extreme Weather Events
Global warming a hoax for political gain, Larry Bell tells Round Table


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50 responses to “Discussion Post: Week 13”

  1. mfbecks says :

    I think the story about the Michigan mothers from the upper peninsula (yoopers) is a great way to show that there are parents out there who are still involved in their children’s lives. In this day and age where many families have both working parents sometimes its hard for the parents to make it to sporting events and other activities with their kids. I think this shows that despite the many things that those mothers could be doing, they have chosen to dedicate their time to cheer on their sons and have some fun while they do it. I’m sure there are some who may think its outlandish and weird, but I think its great for those kids to see that their parents fully support them and really do care about them. I’m glad to see they are still involved and it makes me grateful for my parents who have always been there to support me in everything I do. I may not play sports anymore, but on senior night at Mackey Arena, when they honor the seniors of the Boiler Brass and the Paint Crew officers at half court, I know my parents will be there cheering for me.

  2. Chelsea Berryman says :

    Wow. I cannot believe that someone would name their child after a character in a game, let alone Skyrim. That is very shocking and I cannot believe that they actually went through with it. On another note, I just recently played the new Battlefield 3 and those graphics are so much better than COD. It’s surprising how much effort goes into these games and how realistic these games look.

    I am super excited about my group’s presentation. I think it will be humerous yet very helpful in the end. It’s a surprise though so you will have to wait and see what we have come up with. 😉

  3. James He (@He42) says :

    What I feel like I realized through this class is that to present well you first have to feel comfortable while you are on the “stage”. sacrificing at least a little bit of professionalism like I did by standing behind the podium is a necessity if it will make the speaker more comfortable and be able to talk more smoothly. I feel like it is worse if the speaker is standing in front of everyone, does not feel comfortable, and forget their lines then standing in a place that makes them feel more comfortable. What I learned is try to make yourself comfortable in the area you are given with and do not follow everyone else’s lead if you are not comfortable with it.

    On another note I think the lightweight solid was really cool.

  4. kaileenkraemer says :

    The article about flying with children caught my attention as I am the oldest of four in my family, and my littlest sister is 4 years old. About a year ago we were flying to California and our seat arrangements got changed for the worse, however, it was a Sun Country flight and they did a much better job of understanding our troubles than what was described in the article about United Airlines. They ended up serving our entire family first-class desserts for free while we were riding (and we were in the back of the plane) and were very apologetic. However, hopefully airlines will figure something out so they don’t have to apologize but can eliminate this problem altogether!

    I am disappointed for a child being named after a video game character as much as I’m disappointed if a child is named after a fictional character from a novel. I would feel horrible if I was this child, because my parents have put me on the same level of their respect as the character. Children and beloved fictional characters should not even be considered similar and no one should dare to compare their love and respect for each of them! That is essentially what this couple did, and they deserve a lot more than just free games because it is THAT big of a deal.

  5. bkershey says :

    I was disappointed by the failure to pass a balanced budget amendment. I thought the defitict is a huge problem for our country and thought this would be the surest measure in trunly placing it as a top priority, rather than just talk. I understand some major measures would have to be taken to meet the criteria of the amendment in a few years, but tough decisions have to be mde if you want significant results. It is not like if the amendment passed the budget had to be b balanced this year, but in my opinion would have attacked the issue head on and required the country to truly make the tough sacrifices.

    • begardner says :

      Washington has the cooperative capacity of a…never mind, it’s not even quantifiable. I have never seen such an unproductive congress in the time that that I have been following politics. Unfortunately it has come at a time when it is much more important that they work together. The entire system is broken. Unfortunately I am a realist and this is probably how it is going to stay. With that being said, I probably won’t be voting many incumbents come the next election cycle. Maybe one year we can get lucky and find a group that works. Literally.

  6. lwinters26 says :

    The article about the economy being the reason that births are dropping is very realistic. In one of my other classes we have been talking about the reasons why the birthrate is dropping so much. Increased use and awareness of contraception also is playing a role, but yes, kids are expensive. More and more people are going to school for longer, therefore they have more debt from loans. They are not getting the freedom to start families as young as they used to, and they have less time to earn a living with being in school for so much longer. With the costs of having kids increasing and the means of earning this money decreasing people are almost forced not to have kids. It is hard to earn money here, we work longer and harder hours than many other countries therefore when we do have kids we often have to find some means of childcare which is also expensive. Parents also sometimes feel like its not worth it to bring kids into the world if they really arent going to be there and why just shovel out money to have them cared for when money is tight anyways. This is such a complicated issue and so many factors are involved, but money is usually at the root of all of the issues.

    • cengland42 says :

      I agree with you on the point that it all really boils down to money. Kids are very expensive and when we throw in that fact with the current state of economics it’s not too far of a stretch that people are having less kids. Maybe if we pull ourselves out of this economic issue we will see bigger families. Over the last century smaller families in the US have become an interesting trend, especially when compared to third world nations. There are many factors that play into this.

  7. vmgray says :

    My group is working together so wonderfully. I am actually very excited about this project. We will probably be done with this right when we get back from break. I can’t wait to get all of this over.

  8. Jillian Straub says :

    The story about the parents naming their child after a video game character was disappointing, but didn’t surprise me at all. I understand when parents name their kids something unique that has some kind of meaning or cultural significance to them, but it kind of bugs me when they pick some off the wall made up name for no reason. It is kind of sad, but in their future there are going to be many times that a person is judged by their name before they are even met in person, for example on a job resume. The article also made a good point about the child being tormented in school for it. I couldn’t believe the parents said they thought about that fact but still named him that. It’s like in some ways they are knowingly giving their child a disadvantage in life and saying ‘oh well’.

  9. Shawn Farrington says :

    I think it’s pretty cool that moms went out to cheer on their kids. It’s a great way to show your support to the school they’re a part of and get involved with their kid’s interests. You see too many instances where parents don’t show enough interest in their kid’s lives, which is never good for anyone. I would encourage more parents to be proactive, and as for the kid in the story, he needs to understand his mom is being supportive, not trying to embarrass him.

  10. jamoliah says :

    Poor Dovahkiin, I can only feel bad for that kid. I’ve heard of some people naming their children after game, movie, or book characters before but its usually not this bad. Its one thing if you adore the Terminator movies and name your child Arnold because nobody is ever going to ask him why he was given such an average name. But a name like Dovahkiin is sure to stick out in our culture. A name like that is like a tattoo. However, your not putting the tattoo on yourself, but on your barely conscious baby. In fact, its hard to think which process is more painful, modern tattoo removal techniques or legally having your name changed. Unfortunately he’ll also have to suffer through people mispronouncing his name for most of his life, an experience I understand too well.

    Eep! I just realized that his last name is completely clashing aswell! Dovahkiin Kellermeyer! Try fitting that on a scantron sheet!

  11. jordanthielker12345 says :

    I think I will pull out the inner-gamer personality and take this time to say that Skyrim is awesome! I played a lot of games in my time. I also bought call of duty modern warfare 3. Beat the game on Veteran but it is not as cool as Skyrim. If you want a game where you can do and go anywhere get Skyrim. The map itself is huge. I have to buy a horse to get everywhere. You can follow the story in a linear fashion or do optional quests just to upgrade your character. The time put in this game is outstanding. Sometimes I just ride around and get attacked by dragons. I don’t know how many hours it will take to beat this game but I do know that I have more fun relying on myself to beat it.

  12. stlbirds says :

    I read the article about the police’s use of pepper spray on the student protesters at the California University. The video is very disturbing I thought. University officials have to understand that college’s have great diversity and students express there feelings. Protesting at universities have been going on since the beginning. Yes, the students should of moved their tents after they were asked. After all, it is the university’s property. I understand all of this, but i think that the police could of handled the scenario better. Students were essentially sitting down in a row and had pepper spray sprayed in their face. This is very dangerous and harmful. This is terrible.

  13. ndirenzo19 says :

    With the holiday season coming up many families are booking plane tickets for their vacation getaways. Families with small children are faced with a new challenge. Airlines now have additional fees if you want to have specific reserved seats on the plane, which means families that have young toddles now have to pay more money. Many people have a problem with this, but the airlines are sticking to their guns and requiring this option. Toddlers and small children on some airlines are also being forced to sit in the back of the plane, so that 1st class and full paying business class members are not disturbed by them.

  14. gregalles says :

    I’m very pleased with the amount of work our group has already been able to accomplish for our final presentation. Usually groups I have been in have waited around until the last minute (as any college kid would do), and it led to high levels of stress cramming everything in at the last minute. So it has definitely been nice to get a great head start on things and begin to finalize our topic and points to make this last presentation a good one.

  15. rudyv12 says :

    Out group presentation seems to be going fairly well. Im not too sure of what to make of it as of yet. The topic seems interesting enough, I just don’t know how exactly we are going to make the sales pitch.The semester is coming to an end soon and of course all the deadlines coincide. Life of a college student! 😦

  16. rachkennedy says :

    My groups presentation is coming along. It was difficult to get started since we all have different backgrounds/interests but now that we have gotten past that, I believe we are working as effectively as we can.

    I went to high school with a girl who has the same last name as the couple who named their child after a video game. I asked her if she was knew or was related to the couple. She said that she isn’t related but is pretty embarrassed to share a rather uncommon last name with people who would give their child a first name like that!

  17. shelbyfoster says :

    I think moving small children to the back of aircraft is a poor decision, and not just for the obvious reasons mentioned. Yeah, splitting children and their parents up is stupid to start with, but they are also moving them to the part of the aircraft that is most affected by turbulence and oscillations caused by the pilot. The center of gravity is near the wing, and therefore is the “pivot point”. I can’t stand crying children on an aircraft any more than the next person, so why put them in the least comfortable seats on the plane?!

  18. bcozza says :

    Although I have never been a frequent viewer of any of the multitude of shows that Regis Philbin has hosted throughout his storied television career, I did learn of his retirement in time to hear his final sign off this past Friday morning. What struck me most was his continued and sincere enthusiasm for a profession that propelled him into a household name during his one-half of one century on television. While I have no similar career aspirations, I can only hope that I discover an occupation that I find as enjoyable and rewarding as hosting innumerable television shows has been for Regis. Witnessing the depressing, daily struggles of those who loath their job and seek to retire as soon as financially possible, and contrasting that with Regis’s zeal for his job and bittersweet retirement at the age of eighty, it remains a central goal of mine to pursue a career that makes me happy. Bearing in mind individuals such as Regis, I hope to achieve this goal sooner rather than later.

  19. bmasuoka says :

    “Dovahkiin” I don’t even know how to pronounce that. I thought my last name was way to hard for people to announce. Now this kid is going to have to explain to everyone he meets how to pronounce it. That might get annoying very fast. I think this is unfair to the kid because he might now get made fun of in school which might make him have a tough childhood? Personally I think these parents are very immature and still need some more time to “grow up”. I mean come on really how is this kid suppose to get a date with a girl. I’m sure when he introduces himself “Hi I’m Dovahkiin” he’s not going to get very far. Especially if the girl knows he’s named after a video-game.

  20. usernamesuck says :

    These families are complaining because they cannot sit with their children. Most families jump at the opportunity, but I can see the argument here. Obviously the mother in the story needs to tend to her toddler. It seems that the airline or airlines in question need to simply put aside their policy and use some common sense, something that seems to lack in a lot of places in todays world.

  21. brianbritt says :

    We have some unique stories this week, don’t we? I like your take on the things that are happening in our class and in the world around us.

    You make a very valid point about the decisions we make in our presentations, James (He). There’s really no such thing as a perfect presentation, but we can always take steps to improve our abilities. We could, of course, debate whether it’s better to sacrifice delivery elements for the sake of comfort, or whether it’s best to continue pushing oneself outside that comfort zone until more engaging presentational styles are easy to deliver, but your point is still well-taken. I’m also glad to hear that several of your group projects are going well. It sounds like some great ideas are under development for your group, Vinchessica, and it’s nice to hear that this process has been a positive one for your team, Greg and Rachel, despite any initial obstacles that you had to overcome to make your team cohesive. As for making the sales pitch, as long as the project you’re presenting is a worthwhile one, you’ll find a way to showcase what makes it worthy, Rudy. I’m glad that everyone is putting so much effort into our final round of presentations, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you’ve developed as we approach the end of the semester.

    Michael, your positive outlook is much appreciated. It’s nice to see mothers who clearly care about their children and their scholastic experience enough to take action like this. Granted, it may be a little jarring for the kids at first, like Shawn noted, but I’m sure their mothers’ efforts are making a very tangible difference. Even though St. Ignace LaSalle’s football season is now over — the team lost 45-8 in the state semifinal on Saturday, St. Ignace’s first and only defeat of the season — in the long run, these moms have surely done more for their kids than a cheerless title ever would have done for them.

    It seems like Dovahkiin has really generated a lot of buzz thus far, hasn’t he? The name is certainly surprising, Chelsea, although it’s not the strangest name I’ve ever heard for a child. Consider, for instance, Moon Unit Zappa or Superman Wheaton. (In the latter case, New Zealand’s government rejected the parents’ original choice of “4Real,” as first names starting with a number are not permitted.) While many parents derive inspiration for names from entertainment media, like the examples Kaileen mentioned, usually those are at least a little more innocuous — no one would bat an eye at a parent who named a girl after “Rachel” from Friends, for instance, or “Arnold” as in the example James (Lesniowski) provided. When the name is unusual enough that its origins invite questions, however… well, that’s when troubles like what Jillian described begin. (Concerns about how a name puts you at a disadvantage aren’t just needless worries based on anecdotal cases, either. The well-known, if often-criticized book Freakonomics delved into that very issue.) It’s just embarrassing, like Rachel said, and it can certainly lead to the pronunciation difficulties that James (Lesniowski) and Brian described. It’s one thing to enjoy the quality of a game, like Jordan has, but it’s quite another to stamp that game upon your very being, or in this case, upon the life of your child.

    Certainly, it’s a shame that Congress has been so ineffective in balancing the budget, Bryce (Kershey) and Bryce (Gardner). It’s frustrating to see such a major problem unresolved because the two sides are unable to get along and reach a reasonable compromise or resolution, Bryce (Kershey). With the economy continuing to stagnate, Bryce (Gardner), millions of Americans are relying on the government to turn around the present crisis. In gives you pause to see our elected officials unable to take any productive action whatsoever.

    Kaileen, you’re right that the issue of fussy children is a clear problem for the airlines. While they have a duty to ensure comfort for all passengers, to the best of their abilities, one has to wonder if they’re doing too much harm to the few in their attempts to protect the comfort of the many, particularly given Corey’s point about the obvious need to take care of one’s own child. One also has to wonder if it will work — Shelby brings up a good point about the flaws in the policy and the way it could amplify the problem at hand — but like ndirenzo19 said, these rules likely won’t change any time soon.

    I think you make a great point, Lauren, about the cost of children in today’s economy. Certainly, school is a much longer process than it was 50 or so years ago, at least if you want a reasonable shot at the top jobs in your industry. (I can think of a few fields that are exceptions, where an advanced degree is less valuable than raw skills or experience, but as a whole the point holds true.) It’s a shame, though, that family decisions depend so heavily on money. Like Cody and Lauren both said, with the economy the way it is now, children can easily be viewed as potential resource-draining mouths to feed. Really, though, is that how children should be seen? Maybe this is just be being idealistic, but I think it’s sad to see our world in such a state that the act of growing a family is viewed in such a cash-oriented manner. Necessary though it may be, it doesn’t reflect very well on the relative standing of love and humanity.

    Cole, you raise some valid concerns about the response to those protesters. As you said, the students share some blame in this — when police ask you to vacate private property, you really ought to listen — but it does seem like the situation escalated surprisingly quickly. I wonder if there’s more to the story than we’ve heard, or if this is related to the tense situation around the country and the world with the deteriorating civility surrounding the Occupy Wall Street protests. Either way, you’re probably inclined to think a little differently about your college experience when you see a story like this.

    As for Regis Philbin, it’s amazing to realize how much influence and name recognition he holds in the media, Brad. Whether you remember him from his daytime talk shows or from primetime affairs like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (the show of his that I viewed most frequently, when he was still the host), he certainly did his job quite well. It’s good to see someone who, at least outwardly, appeared to enjoy his job so much, particularly when we hear all sorts of complaints from others about their jobs, as you mentioned in your comment. You have to really enjoy your work to willfully continue with it until you’re 80 years old. In any case, he certainly had a good run, didn’t he?

    • meshiach0machshevi says :

      Regarding the story about violent police officers:

      UC Davis is a public university: no private property involved here.

      And yes, there’s undoubtedly a lot more to the story than any one of us has heard. Search engines are your friend; if you want to know more about the story, there’s plenty to read, and photos, and videos, all readily accessible at your fingertips.

      And if you do decide to look into this story a little more, you’ll find some grizzly photos/videos which entirely back up stlbirds’s story that the students were sitting cross-legged in a row on the ground with their arms linked when police walked up to them and sprayed pepper spray in their faces.

      Is this “related” to “the deteriorating civility surrounding the Occupy Wall Street protests”? Well, if the police decide to viciously attack innocent people at a protest, then I suppose that in a very very loose sense that “deterioration of civility” is “surrounding” those protests. But then again, perhaps that would be better described as “deterioration of civility on the part of the police”. Or how about “the police engaging in criminal activity”.

      Ah, sweet, twisted semantics. Turn a victim into a criminal and a criminal into a victim.

  22. burnscp says :

    I wanted to wish everyone a happy thanksgiving. I hope everyone is enjoying the time off with family and friends. Only a few weeks left when we get back to school, so it should fly by. Enjoy the holiday and be safe traveling back to campus.

  23. rotosteckel says :

    I personally love the story about the child being named Dovahkiin. Then again I’m a bit biased in that I love fantasy-based names. My parents almost named me Kira after the female protagonist in “The Dark Crystal”, but alas they did not (and there’s a reason I go by my last name). More than once I’ve thought about legally changing my name to Kira Steckel after I get out of college…and then I remember all of the insane amount of paperwork that goes with it. -_- Perhaps though…perhaps.

    I think that the problems of the airlines splitting up up families with children (less than 13 years old or so) is just idiotic. It may take a bit of shuffling (if you say something about there not being enough time, might I remind you of the long amount of waiting-time after everyone is seated and before the plane starts moving…) and you may not have your overhead stored directly above you, but I see no reason as to why the steward(ess) can’t simply go up to the man sitting next to a mom and ask “Excuse me sir, I’m sorry to bother you but would you be willing to change your seat so that this woman’s 4 year old son can sit with her instead of between two non-familial strangers?”

    Group projects? Communication could be better, though I have a feeling that this class may not be the highest priority right now (I know that my animation class currently has most of my attention and time). And now for something a little tongue-in-cheek (…or perhaps not…) regarding group projects. http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/what-group-projects-are-supposed-to-teach-you-graph.jpg

  24. jkinnamo says :

    I would like to talk a little about Johnny Jolly, the former defensive end for the Green Bay Packers in which was recently sentenced to six years in jail due to violating his probation. Johnny Jolly was addicted to codeine and was suspended a year from the NFL last year the year in which the Green Bay Packers won the Superbowl. If it wasn’t for his addiction in which led to his suspension he would now be a Superbowl Champion and would have a Championship ring of his own. His continued codeine addiction has caused him recently to break his probation and now sentenced to six years in prison. I would like to make the comment on how I feel that this sentence is over the top when another recent NFL player, Donte Stallworth was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter due to a drunken driving incident in which he killed a man. Donte Stallworth was only sentenced to 30 days in prison for this while Johnny Jolly is getting sentenced to 6 years for his addiction on codeine. Whether or not Johnny Jolly will serve this full time or not I feel that it is an unfair sentence when another former player was only sentenced for 30 days after killing a man, even if it was involuntary a man is still dead because of his actions. I will find it interesting to see how long of a sentence Johnny Jolly will serve for his drug addiction, when so many others have served less time for far harsher crimes.

  25. brad5627 says :

    Well, in terms of the presentations, i feel completely overwhelmed.. I’m trying to put together the 2 presentations for com, plus another presentation for english, plus work, plus the website for com, a website for english, finding a job… there is just not enough hours in the day. and my presentation is on tuesday and I feel like a mess about it. No idea where i’m going to start or finish for the presentation. I’m not concerned about the delivery, I’m quite comfortable delivering the presentation, but the content is definitely a problem for me right now. The job hunt is ugly and i don’t exactly want to talk about it in front of the class. lol. But, i feel like, overall, my presentation abilities have improved and i’m definitely focused more on body language and things like that during the presentation instead of stressing about content (except for this next pres). All will work out, though.

  26. spkuo says :

    Mom’s being cheerleaders? When did that happen? Even though there’s not much to talk about and probably other articles that are more interesting, but I seriously laughed when I read about mom’s creating their own cheer squad to cheer for their sons. Or at least made a ‘wth’ face when I read it. I guess I can see why they did that. For a school that only has 215 students enrolled, it’s hard to get the students to join everything. My school had over 2,000 students; just the freshmen made up 1,000+. At one point, because of the increase in student body, our school had to use the school’s academic money to build other buildings just to accommodate everyone.

  27. robpingry says :

    So it’s the Saturday of Thanksgiving. I had a great meal on Thursday. I had great family, great food and great times. Thanksgiving is the best holiday all year. It’s great because its simple. There is no church service that you feel obligated to attend or a need to get someone the perfect gift There are no dumb mascots or real them besides great food. For me Thanksgiving is great because it gives family an excuse to come together for a day or evening and enjoy a great meal. On Thanksgiving everything slows down. In my opinion America needs more holidays that appreciate the small good things we have in life.

    • abemccullough says :

      I fully agree that we need more time to stop and appreciate the things that mean most to us. Family, friends and excellent food are often lost in the business of college life. Thanksgiving is primarily a time (for me at least) to eat and nap. As far as I’m concerned we could have one on the last Thursday of every month 🙂

  28. fiddlestix22 says :

    I have to say that I am not really surprised about someone naming their child after a video game character given how much some people get into games/movies/comics etc., but I hate to think of the teasing the child might get in the future. Hopefully they’ll come up with a decent nickname. I don’t think I could ever do that to my child, regardless of how awesome I think a character like Gandalf is. Now, my pets on the other hand, they’re fair game. My hamster Muad’Dib can attest to that. 🙂

  29. han39 says :

    Illinois water utility situation reminds me the movie, Live free or die hard 4. Nowadays society is very advanced and based on the internet connectivity. More and more infrastructure will be depending on network. Network security will be very critical in future infrastructure. Government need to invest more in the network security to prevent these crimes.

  30. dparkerr says :

    The story about the mothers becoming cheerleaders in the upper peninsula of Michigan is very interesting. I think for the mothers, this is a way for them to become more involved with school spirit and be young again, just as long as it isn’t annoying for the kids playing football. I think its cool that the mothers and sons can both share that moment and work together. Though to the point where it gets distracting I think they should stop. I am impressed that none of them are embarrassed and I wonder what the opposing teams think. But I think given the funding that the school has, it is an inventive idea that boosts school morale.

  31. thecatherinesondgerath says :

    The story about the parents who named their child Dovahkiin was very interesting but confusing. As someone who has played a bit too much skyrim lately I can say that I have not come across anyone with that name. The point of all the Elder Scrolls games is that you get to name your own character and buid its skills based on the way that you like to play. Unless the default name for your character is Dovahkiin before you change it, then I must have missed it.

    Aside from that I think it’s a great story, people think of all kinds of ways to name their kids (families, celebrities etc) why not name them in order to get free games? Although I have found it odd that people have been seeking marriage certificates, and trying to have their babies on 11/11/11, I find it odd given that there’s NOTHING special about the number 11. I think it would make more sense if it was 7/7/07 since 7 is considered lucky. What’s the big deal?

  32. Teju Shyamsundar says :

    The story about the parents naming their child after the protagonist of Skyrim is both comical and disappointing. As the child grows up, he will probably start wondering why his parents chose one of the worst names possible, especially because its one of those names that people only recognize because of the video games. I don’t think its right to name your child after a video game character, name of a character in a book, or outlandish names that truly have no meaning to them. Even though a unique name might seem cool to the parents, the child will most likely end up hating it. If I were him, I would probably end up changing my name anyways! As for the final presentations, I think they will be a great way to wrap up everything we have learned in this course. My group’s presentation idea is pretty fun, so I think the presentation should go well.

  33. Mike Tuccori says :

    Our group is doing well. We have been communicating through facebook, and we will probably meet sometime this week. As for the neutrino story, if the data holds and the particles do travel faster than the speed of light then that says a lot about what needs to be changed regarding the laws of physics. As was stated in the blog, these results counter a century’s worth of physics and is making a big noise in the field. It is understandable that extensive testing under many conditions is requested because these results could change how the physics of the universe works. Hackers compromising systems reaps havoc on system owners and people who are reliant on that system to work. Assuming that good will prevail, the best hackers will be on our side and beat the bad hackers.

  34. khabenic says :

    I’m excited for the final presentation of the semester. Since this presentation puts us into groups, it takes a little pressure off. With a group, everyone has different strengths and ideas to bring to the table, and that means it’s not all left up to one person. Our group has already decided on a topic and I’m really excited about it. We haven’t talked too much since we picked a topic, and we still need to fine tune all the details. Overall, I expect our presentation to go really well; all of my group members have a lot of strengths when it comes to presenting and I expect that we will work really well together.

  35. moormanja says :

    We the article involving the children going to the back of the plane I believe it is kind of mean. I know it is a pain when you have a crying, nagging kid on a plane either beside you or behind you, but they paid to be on that plane and have every right to be on there as much as you do. I agree it is annoying when a kid does not stop crying during a five hour flight, but that’s just the way things are. Putting them in the back won’t solve a thing because if there are a lot of families on the plane, they will just keep getting pushed to the center and then it will still echo through the plane to where you’ll still be able to hear it.

  36. Emma says :

    I think our group work is coming along great! Everyone is impressed about the idea and motivated to get it going. Our idea is pretty fantastic so I’m excited to present it to the audience. Our biggest challenge will probably be finding time to meet as a group and meeting our individual deadlines. The semester is coming to a close pretty quickly so hopefully we’ll all be able to finish our parts. Other than that, I’m fairly confident that the company we’ll be pitching to will definitely invest in our product.

    And the article about the parents who named their baby after a character from Skyrim is incredibly weird. It was even stranger that they were considering the name before the publicity contest was even created. I wonder about society sometimes..

  37. moore2112 says :

    I thought the article about the parents naming their child after a character from Skyrim was pretty funny. I’m all for video games, especially this one, but not to the point where I am considering naming my child after a character from one. I’d like to see them try to explain to their child how he got his name one day when he is older. It would be even more hilarious if Bethesda goes out of business in the near future.

  38. vsabatel says :

    I would like to comment on the topic concerning the next round of presentations. This time we are out in groups and have to talk about a certain topic. Working in groups could sometimes be easier but it can also make some things harder. While presenting, being in a group tends to take all the center focus off yourself and on to the group in general. You also work as a team so that is usually a more efficient way. The drawbacks of working in a group mainly involve meeting times. With everyone being so busy it is hard to schedule a time to meet where everyone can make it and not have someone terribly inconvenienced. Another drawback is conflict within the group but that usually is not a problem and could be overcome. That being said I am ready to start on presentation four.

  39. abemccullough says :

    Its amusing to me that people care about PETA enough to continue producing news articles about them. Humans may have been cruel to animals, but by and large there are far worse things that happen that animal cruelty. Its a shame that we as a culture spend so much time and money on almost non issues like this when there are far better causes. PETA is a way for us as Americans to pretend that there is still injustice in the world while calmly turning a blind eye to real social injustices.

    As for naming your kid after a video game I feel a little sorry for the kid and wonder a little about his parents. If you are naming your kid to get a lifetime of free video games, do you really have what it takes to properly raise your child? I don’t have enough time in college to play video games – how can you hold up a full time job *and* raise a family at the same time and expect to be able to play every single video game that a company produces. Ridiculous.

  40. lopurdue says :

    I am feeling pretty confident with our group presentation because our group camp up with the topic really fast and everyone was satisfied with it. We have a decent idea of what we want to do now, so this should be a easy one to complete.
    Megan and Eric Kellermeyer are just kind of crazy in my opinion even though I am obsessed with The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim also. I would never do that to my son because I am afraid that he would hate me in future. I personally encourage everyone to try Skyrim because it is the BEST game I have ever played during my life time. You can be whoever you want in the game. The game is just another world for people to live in.

  41. zjaw3150 says :

    Always fun to see new engineered materials. I’m curious if the metallic lattice will be economical enough to go into everyday applications like car bumpers perhaps, or if it will be reserved for more exotic missions.

    As for the water pump incident, the dependency I see on networking these days makes me increasingly nervous. The ability to consolidate departments and duties into one central hub that does it all can be quite economical; however the increased vunerability to cyber-hackers and other do-badders must be seriously considered and addressed.

  42. falkhali says :

    I think the PETA game is a great way to spread their message about their organization. It is always creative to use other video game characters as a parody and using a video game instead of traditional marketing strategies.

  43. paulglab says :

    I feel like my group ended up with a great topic. I don’t want to give away the surprise of what our topic is exactly, but it uses aspects of each group member’s major. I believe it will turn out great. I am glad I have the team members I was randomly placed with. All of us seem to want to do a great job with this presentation.

  44. davidjames1187 says :

    I am usually not very excited when the word “Group” has anything to do with college assignments. But I do feel very confident in our group, maybe it was the luck of the draw, but I feel that everyone in our group has worked very hard thus far and I am confident each individual will bring something to the presentation in a good way. I feel like the the topic we decided on may have a few roadblocks to overcome though. We picked a very difficult topic, and we will have to find a way to make it simple enough to convey to the audience without dumbing it down too much.

    As far as the naming of babies goes. I think any parent who decides to be what they think is creative with their kid’s name should be dropped off somewhere in Afghanistan for their stupidity. Although Dovahkiin is not the worst name I have ever heard, it’s still just inconsiderate to the kid. Might as well name them Amanda Buttram, or Mercedes, or something of that nonsense.

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