My Music Habits

Music has a large role in my life. Ever since I was little I have always loved listening to music. Not only American music but because my mom is Italian and my dad is from Spain I have grown up around various types of music. I have been known to have one of the most diverse iPods of many of my friends. My music habits changed when I moved to India because I used music as a way to escape from some of the hard times. I was dealing with a new place and with my mom being very ill. It was difficult but music gave me an escape route.

I listen to a variety of genres of music. I range from hip-hop to rap to alternative to oldies to top 40 to international music. The ways that I listen to music are: 1. iPod 2. Computer 3. Phone and through my speakers which is connected to my iPod. I have burned music off of CDs and I have imported them from other computers and I have gotten songs from other laptops. Another way I get my music is from downloading it off of iTunes and buying them but it gets to be pretty expensive.

I listen to music when I run, when I am just in my dorm doing work or cleaning my room. Depending on the homework, I listen to music while I do certain assignments. Certain tasks call for different types of music.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-10767128 (Would not work to embed, so there is a really cool video on this)

Certain tasks it is better to listen to more upbeat music. Things such as running or working out, it is a proven fact that faster music influences your endurance and your athletic performance. For example, if someone were to listen to some classical music while running there would probably not be much of an enhancement, however if someone were to listen to “Hot N’ Cold” by Katy Perry then they are more likely to run to the beat of the music.

It is difficult to rely on iTunes for music because they keep on raising their prices, but it is hard to download music illegally because of the fear of getting caught therefore, that is one issue I feel is a big issue in the music industry because obviously everyone can’t get music for free because if they are then how are the artists going to make money. However, there needs to be a way in which people can get music and still have money in their pockets. That is the million dollar question!

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Music Should Be Free vs. We Should Pay For Music Downloads

There are many ways in which this argument can go because both sides have viable arguments. However, overall the music industry is not profiting from the illegal downloads people are constantly partaking in. Even though I would love for music to be free and it would be much easier than having to worry about how much we’re spending on music, it is someone’s job and it is their talent. Therefore, I think that prices should be a little bit lower but I do not think that it would be feasible for the music industry to allow for all music to be free.

One reason I believe that we should pay for music is that since the increase in people downloading music the music industry is “decreasing the amount of music they release each year” said one article written by Jess Weisbein about the facts of the music downloading phenomenon. They are decreasing the amount of music that is released because they are spending more money on legal expenses, which is a result of the constant trouble with the music industry. (Source: http://www.besttechie.net/2008/04/14/illegal-music-downloading-look-at-the-facts/)

Secondly, it is causing a loss of jobs for people. The music industry is not making as much money, therefore they cannot pay their employees as much because there is not as much money coming in. Therefore, the illegal downloads are causing not only a decrease in the revenue that the music itself is receiving but also affecting those that work to keep it running.

Thirdly, the music quality of downloading music just is not as good as the cd or album quality. It is difficult to go through all of the different songs that you can choose to download and some may be awful quality while you may get lucky and get a few good ones. It is much more time consuming and believe it or not you end up getting in trouble anyways. (Source: http://cornellsun.com/section/arts/content/2010/11/15/pirate-nation-illegal-music-downloading)

Lastly, I found some of the statistics to be truly astounding because of the amount of money and time that has gone into trying to solve this issue when if people would stop downloading it would make it a lot easier. One article stated, “According to the Institute of Policy Innovation, “projected losses from illegal downloading worldwide to U.S. record companies are at $3.7 billion.” (Source: http://www.elon.edu/pendulum/Story.aspx?id=830)

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Moguls and Movie Stars: The Dream Merchants

Synopsis:

The Moguls and Movie Stars Dream Merchants chapter The Dream Merchants focused on the film industry in the 1920’s, specifically the years 1920-1928. People such as Rudolph Valentino, Marian Davis, William Randolph Hearst, Douglas Fairbanks, Charley Chaplain, and Goldwyn studios.

Some of the things that I learned from the documentary was that 1921 was the record year for films being produced. It was a total of 854 features. Also, in 1922 forty percent of Americans went to a picture show every week. The industry, stated by Zannuck, was often called the “land of gamblers” because of the chances producers and such gambling with the budgets and things of the like.

The focus of the documentary was the idea that all of those involved in the film industry were looking for one thing and that was power and prosperity. They all wanted to become famous and end up taking over the industry, by succeeding in each department of the industry. These departments were: Directing, Production, and owning Studios.

Some of the things that I found interesting in the documentary were the people that they focused on, such as Charley Chaplain and the story about Arbuckle and the girl that he was accused of “sexually assaulting” when really he ended up being not guilty. Soon after he was accused of this and was finally found not guilty he died at age 46. Buster Keaton referred to this moment in history as, “it was the day our laughter stopped”. Due to the fact that Arbuckle was seen as the comedian of the time and industry so when he died there was a lack of laughter.

Another interesting fact that I found during this documentary was when they talked about William Randolph Hearst. Now-a-days we have Hearst corporation which makes up for a large amount of the magazine industry. Then, William Randolph Hearst was the biggest newspaper/magazine publisher in the U.S. He managed to turn newspaper cartoons into animated cartoons. Soon Hearst became so involved in the film industry he even mixed business with pleasure. Marian Davis, an actress, had a lifelong affair with publisher, William Hearst.

Lastly, another fascinating fact that I learned was about the Prohibition effect on Hollywood and the film industry. It was mentioned that those in the film industry were the ones who felt that they could rebel and go against the law and still drink. They held large gatherings which had large amounts of alcohol.

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“I know I’m the girl with the Broken Wing, but who are you?” – Emily (Seven Pounds)

Seven Pounds: Directed by: Gabrielle Muccino

Synopsis:

“Seven Pounds” features Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, and Woody Harrelson directed by Gabrielle Muccino; with Producers: Todd Black, James Lassiter, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, and Will Smith, himself.  It is about a man named Ben, played by Will Smith, who has lost his daughter and his wife in a car accident years ago. Ben is an IRS agent with a secret that we do not find out what it is until the end of the film. Ben takes his own life in order to help 7 strangers. He uses his organs: Eyes, Bone Marrow, Heart, Kidneys, and more to help those strangers that are “good people” in his eyes. Rosario Dawson, who plays Emily, is suffering of heart failure and Ben falls into her life. She ends up falling in love with Ben and they begin to spend significant amounts of time together. Emily is unaware of the secret that Ben is hiding from her and everyone else. The only person that is aware of what Ben is planning on doing, is his best friend, Dan, who is played by Barry Pepper.

Analysis:

I would highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys drama, love, and even some comedic moments at certain times. I would also highly recommend this film because it makes you think and realize how important life really is. There are certain moments when, I personally think that the film is the strongest. One of these moments is when Ben is going into the bath tub to take his own life.

It is such a strong part of the movie. The effects of his voice and how well Will Smith is acting is incredible. It looks so real and the suspense is amazing. I think that everyone should see this movie. It is moving and it truly shows the value of both family and life in general. Everyone should be glad for what they have.

Another strong scene in the movie is when Ben and Emily have sex and they are laying in bed and talking about the future. He knows his secret, yet is still going on with the “what if” game that Emily is leading. She talks about how what if they get married and have children. He goes along with everything and never mentions that what he is planning to do.

Lastly, one part that significantly sticks in my head is when Ben’s brother meets with Emily after Ben has died. It is emotional and the truth comes out.

So, overall, this movie was very well done and I think that everyone who has access to see this movie should definitely see it. It is definitely worth it and I think that the characters and the actors did a phenomenal job with expressing their emotions. It was an excellent movie and I would watch it again and again.

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Advertisements: Magazine, Online, and TV

Our assignment was to look through three different mediums, magazines, Television, and the web, to find advertisements for politicians, products, and services.

Medium:

The Magazines that I looked at were Glamour, Seventeen, and and Italian Vogue and some of the ads that I found were:

Maybelline Mascara, Macys, Vera Bradley, Payless Shoes, Revlon lip gloss, Biore Face Wash, Shake it up, Playtex, Nike, Dermatologica, Dove, Carmex Lip Balm, NY Film Academy, Girl Scouts, Latisse Eyelash procedure, Halls, Bank of America, Burberry, Walmart, and Pantene just to name some.

In the magazine medium I found that many of the ads that were placed in these magazines were based on the demographics of the magazine. When you think about the ads that I just mentioned the type of people that the magazine is typically read by are women or girls ages 15-30. Makeup is advertised, fake eyelashes, deodarant, tampons, and etc. For this reason I believe that the reason that many of these ads are so effective is because the companies which are buying these spaces know that they will get the attention of the people they want when they place their ad in Vogue, Glamour, or Seventeen. They also know that if a girl sees Jessica Biel wearing Revlon Lip Gloss that girl is going to want to be just like her, which also proves the modeling theory. The way many of the magazine ads may be are more so soft sell because there is no blunt advertisement it is more so just placed there not thrown at you, necessarily.

Three Ads That struck me: 1. Zit Stick: Due to the fact that I know how it feels to have a zit, and if there is a magic “Zit Stick” then of course a girl (me) is going to want to try it. The name itself, sells itself because when I heard zit stick I thought it is an easy way to get rid of zits. 2. NY Film Academy: Because I am interested in living in New York and hopefully pursuing a career in journalism or even possibly the movie industry, something like this would strike me as interesting. Also, it struck me, as I believe it would strike others because girls who are reading this magazine are our age and they have not necessarily begun their careers so it gets them interested in possibly pursuing a career in the movie industry. Even starting at this Film Academy. 3. I did not find any political advertisements in the magazines I was looking at but another ad that struck me and made me want to go out and buy it was the Maybelline Mascara because they advertise as if it can make your eyelashes look like a celebrity and so you think and are curious about whether or not it works.

Television:

When looking at television ads I found a variety of different types of ads for various different things. Some of these were: Apple iPhone/iPod, ATT, Allen Grayson (Politician), Tom Perriello (Politician), Verizon Wireless, Garnier Fructis, Almay, Dance Central (Video Game), Rooms to Go, Bojangles, Pizza Hut, Ford, Freschetta Pizza (frozen foods), Red Lobster, Time Warner Cable, 5 Hour Energy, McDonalds, Covergirl, Neutrogena, One-a-day vitamins, and many more.

Three ads that I found surprisingly interesting and caught my attention were: 1. Apple iPhone 2. ATT  3. Allen Grayson and Richard Burr

The Apple iPhone got my attention due to the fact that it used music and incorporated some of the features of the phone itself. It showed someone using it so that they weren’t just saying that it did something and then it possibly couldn’t actually do it. It was interesting how even with the issues that some people had with the new iPhone their commercials and advertisements are still getting people to buy their product because people see it and have to have it. Another advertisement that I found to be effective was the ATT advertisement. It was effective because they have Luke Wilson (celebrity) doing it and it was easy to say well you know if a celebrity is using it then it must be a good service and they also explained the things that they had that maybe other services did not. Lastly, I found an ad for the candidates of the 2010 Midterm election and viewed a lot of them, but one specifically stuck out to me. I do not necessarily think that I would vote for him but I can see why people would listen to his commercial. Allen Grayson had an ad that was very dramatic and it looked like a movie trailer which caught people’s attention. Drama always catches peoples attention; we thrive off of drama and conflict.

Internet:

Some of the advertisements on the internet that I found were: Starbucks, Walmart, Best Buy, Wisp Ad, Honda, State Farm, Facebook, Youtube, Garnier, Richard Burr, Vitamin Water, ATT, Verizon, Yoplait, Sex and the City 2 Movie, Terray Beauty (Buying Hair).

Three of the effective advertisements that I found on the internet were: 1. Best Buy because they had their ad displaying things that were on sale that maybe were not before so it had me thinking that it would be a good time to buy them now since it is on sale. 2. Wisp Ad was effective because it advertised a contest that a lucky person will win a trip to South Beach by buying Wisps. 3. Honda ad was effective because it showed the inside of the car while incorporating youtube into their ad because since it was being advertised on youtube’s website it was interesting how they were targeting who would be watching it. As if they were trying to say you can even watch youtube in OUR car. They showed the tv screen and some of the funnier videos featured on the site.

Overall, I feel like my reaction to the advertisements may not have been as strong as possible due to the fact that because I know how the advertisers are thinking it is harder to fall for them. I know that some of the products may not actually work and that in fact, it is an advertising strategy. I feel like doing this experiment helped to see how I would react to these ads though. it was interesting to see how many advertisements really were on the Television, Internet, and especially the amount in the magazines. The ads have pretty much taken over the magazines. Now almost every other page of the magazine is another ad.

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BP Oil Spill: PR Efforts

The BP oil spill has ruined the reputation of the BP company in general. It has caused much distrust among consumers and caused the decrease in some of America’s public using BP gas stations to fill their vehicles.

BP has done many things in their Public Relations department to better their image. Some of the things they did may not have been the best way to handle it, but that is my opinion.

For example, one thing that I found that BP did after the oil spill, was they actually bought “search terms from Google” (http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Horizons/2010/0609/Gulf-oil-spill-To-control-message-BP-buys-search-terms-from-Google). So BP tried to make it harder for the public to find the negative comments said about them. So, no when someone searches “oil spills” it will come up with something from Wikipedia or something about the efforts of what BP is doing to help with the condition, rather than saying that it was their fault.

Another thing that I found while researching BP and its PR efforts after the spill, was something said by a Toyota Executive. He stated that, considering he could say from experience about Public Relations and how to handle them due to the issue with their cars accelerating on their own, the Public Relations representatives for the BP company “seemed aloof”. Not necessarily the best way to be when something that crucial is happening to a country. This executive used his own company as an example stating that their company gave up one of their head executives when their issue happened. He thought that maybe Toyota was just able to handle it better than BP. (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/06/toyota-exec-asked-about-bps-oil-spill-pr-efforts/1)

A few PR stunts that I feel that BP has done to improve its status in the world is donating/providing $10 million dollars to support health issues that have resulted or come about from the spill itself. And also providing another $52 million to help fund health support around the US Gulf Coast.

Another thing that I found was that people were stating that the BP cleanup was actually a PR stunt and that the company told the workers to not dig deep even though the oil spill went 12 inches deep.

Clearly the PR campaign, I believe and based off of what I have found,  it is not effective due to the fact, that when residents were asked what they thought of the efforts to clean up the oil spill they all say that they do not believe that anything is moving quickly, which clearly means that the campaign is not helping the fact that people are hopeless.

I think what they should have done as a PR campaign is make it look like they are working harder on the effectiveness and the speed of the cleanup. I feel like they are hiding the facts especially by buying the search engine. Hiding the facts just makes BP sound worse, and makes people think that they are not taking responsibility. This is why I think that I would be more truthful and admit to the faults of the company and take responsibility and realize that the image may be tainted but that it is more important to clean things up that way the image can be fixed when people realized what the company is doing to clean up and make things more effective.

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Google: Alessandra Losa

As I was looking on the internet I did not think I would find much about myself. But to my surprise I found a descent amount of stuff that represented what I have been in involved in quite well. I found

One of the things that I found a few times was sports announcements. My coach in High School used to send the Newspaper in my town a run down of the goals and assists in our soccer team. So, I found myself in some of the soccer announcements.

I also found myself in an article on the Star News (my local paper in Wilmington) about my involvement in the Azalea Festival because I was an Azalea Belle my junior year. It was cool finding out that people could know now what I was involved in.

Another thing that I had found was a record of student athlete awards and I saw that I was on the list. It was posted on the google and I found it on a document that my High School put out.

Another interesting thing that I found was that someone with the exact same name as me popped up regarding their facebook, but my facebook is set to private so I knew it wasn’t me.

I also found my name mentioned about our school’s yearbook because I was co-editor with 2 other girls of the yearbook and we were an honorable mention in a competition.

I was also mentioned on the internet for being on the Honor Roll in Middle School and High School. I also found my blog for this class on the internet.

I found this experiment to be pretty interesting because it gave me a chance to realize what people could find out about me by just knowing my name and hometown even. They could find out where I could maybe be or what I was involved in. I think that it is interesting to see that some people do not realize how much people can find out about you just by clicking a button the internet; it is crazy.

It is also kind of weird to see your friends and family’s name on the internet. For example, I was sitting with my suitemate and we looked up her and her sister and nothing popped up for her, but we found a lot on her sister. So it was weird seeing that even if you did not know a person you could find out about them. I think that sometimes it is a good thing and sometimes I think that it can actually be kind of scary because people can find out anything they want about you. I feel the Internet is a great resource if used properly and if not used properly it could actually get people in a lot of trouble.

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