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I come from a fairly small suburban town in Massachusetts, where we do our best to support local business. Growing up my family and I would make weekend trips to our locally owned video store, Advanced Video. I have fond memories of making weekend trips there to pick out a movie and getting lost in the various nooks and crannies of the store as I browsed the comedy section. Sadly this store eventually closed shortly after my 13th birthday and we had to settle for the corporate alternative Blockbuster. Then when I came home for Thanksgiving Break I was astonished to find that Blockbuster was finally going out of business. I pulled up to the store and its windows were littered with large “Clearance” and “Sales” signs that were visible from the main road. Naturally I went in and as I was browsing the isles for bargains I started to wonder, “What could have brought this corporate giant to a close after being in business for so many years?” Then it hit me, Netflix was behind it. Netflix is an online DVD and Blu-ray Disc rental service, offering flat rate rental-by-mail and online streaming in the United States. Netflix appeals to its customers with their low rates, convenience, and wide selection of movies.  This is an issue around the country as Netflix is slowly becoming the norm, making local video stores and even the corporate giant Blockbuster obsolete.

Netflix may be the growing norm, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that going to your local video store is a lot more beneficial to both you and your community. By going to a local store you are paying for a friendlier atmosphere and employees who are cinematically knowledgeable and who offer better customer service than their counterparts. When you go to a store in your town you also develop a relationship with the workers, opposed to renting a video online where you interact with a computer and a series of phone tellers when you ask for customer service. Local employees will also offer personalized movie recommendations when you’re not quite sure what to get and help you find any movie you may have in mind, a service that does not come with Netflix.

Renting a movie is also supposed to be an experience in itself. When you go to the store there’s a whole process that comes with renting a movie, by simply clicking a button you miss out on this. When you go to the store you get to browse all the different isles for the perfect movie, buy movie snacks such as popcorn and soda to accompany the film, and debate with your company over which movie to finally rent. In a way it’s a bonding experience. By clicking a button you really don’t get the full movie experience that you would from going to a local store.

Finally by going to your local video store you are putting money back into your local economy. Many organizations have been established around the very idea of spending locally, such as Community Involved in Sustainable Agriculture that was established in Massachusetts whose focus is on buying produce from local farmers. When you rent a movie online it maybe inexpensive and convenient, but where does that money actually go? When you support local businesses your money stays within your community and helps to keep it financially stable, where as if you spent your money on a corporation you would be taking business away from local stores, potentially increasing unemployment rates. We have to remember too that the people that work at these stores are our neighbors and friends; they are members of our community. In spending your money on Netflix and similar corporations you may be driving your neighbors and friends out of business.

Netflix is slowly taking over the video renting market leaving little room for the small locally owned stores that we once grew up on to thrive. By supporting corporations like Netflix (which may save you a few bucks initially) you are hurting your local economy/ local businesses and potentially increasing the unemployment rate in your own town. Renting a movie should be an experience that you can enjoy with friends and family while stimulating the local economy, not a simple *Click* *Click* Done. If we don’t start supporting our local businesses now we will start to see a lot more stores closing in our communities, and not just video stores like Advanced Video and Blockbuster.

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Notorious B.I.G, Jack Kerauac, and Tupac, and God. I decided that I could exceed the cap of 3 people for  God. I chose Biggie and Tupac because of their unique past together and I’d like to see how they’d interact over dinner with one another. They started off on good terms but slowly their relationship started to deteriorate as the East Coast West Coast battle started to heat up. I’ve always wondered though what would they have said to one another if they had one more chance to talk. Would they make amends knowing how things turned out? Would the two greatest rappers who ever lived finally make peace like their mothers did at the MTV Music awards? I’d like to find out. I also chose Jack Kerauac because of his unique personality and radically views that I find intriguing. Then I chose God… because he’s God and doesn’t need an explanation.

Topic #1: This topic is about how the growth of technology and how it is increasingly breaking down traditional values that Americans once held dear. Around the table (if your family eats together at the table) think of how the role of personal messengers like Blackberry’s and Cell Phones have changed how we spend time with one another. People are also becoming closed of to strangers as media is constantly portraying the horrors that occur in everyday society, it’s become less common for us to talk with our neighbors and instead of spending time with one another we’re building up fences around our house and cutting ourselves off from the world around us.

People don’t interact with one another as they walk by in public- we ignore one another

Media constantly portrays the negatives making us afraid and closed off

We’ve become dependent on technology rather than connections with people

 

When this started?

Is this just a trend growing in the U.S?

What can be done to stop this growing trend?

Apple Business Card: With corporates such as Apple controlling the market on mp3 players and computers will other business be able to compete?

Lighter: Will/should marijuana become legalized, regulated, and taxed in the near future?

Deck of Cards: With electronic devices such as computers, cellphones, and i Pods have simple games like a cards and board games become obsolete?

Buffalo Wild Wings Menu: Should the  minimum wage for workers be raised so that people can realistically live of their pay?

Film Canister: Will everythig become digital in the near future like the growing trend among music players or will the art of photography remain?

Canadian Currency: Will the new health care system in America bring about lower medical prices similar to that of Canada?

CD: Have Cd’s and Mix tapes become a thing of the past?

Trojan

By far the best Halloween costumes that I’ve seen so far has been Trojan Man. While in Middle School my friend Neil Cox’s older brother Brian went out as Trojan Man (As in the Condom Company). This was not only an amazing idea but the detail that he put into  it was incredible. He had a childs horse similar to those popular in the 50’s with the head on  a stick and he would ride around from place to place yelling “TROJAN MAN ” and throwing condoms at people. I don’t think I’m ever going to forget this brilliant costume.

International Relations

I still have a vague idea of what I want to do when I grow up, but I’ve been leaning towards something in International Relations. I love to travel and have been to Australia, New Zealand, and The Dominican Republic. While in the Dominican I worked with a local youth group to help build a community center in an impoverished part of La Vega. I like helping people and traveling, so I thought that Internal Relations would be a good field to go into because it incorporates both of those. Right after College though I’ve thought about going either in to The Peace Corps, or America Corps. None of this 100%  though and I’m sure that as I get closer to Senior year my views might start to change and I might go down a different path.

My phone

5 Things that I can NOT live without are my laptop, my friends, my music, my cell phone, and my family. Laptops and Cell phones are most likely to show up on everyone’s top 5 list because we need to stay connected to the social world. I know when I first lost my cellphone I felt like I lost a part of my self, there was something missing. Music, Family, and Friends are 3 things that fall under the emotional side of things. My friends and my family are always there to help me out and it’s a nice feeling knowing that if all goes wrong you have someone to count on. Without either of them I don’t know what I would do. Finally music… I don’t think this needs a ton of explaining, without music I know I’d go crazy. Music like a cellphone is a part of your identity and the songs you listen to represent experiences and remind you of people in you life.

I totally agree with Bordo on this. Everywhere you look, bulletin boards, magazine articles, TV ads, they’re all full of extremely distorted images. I most commonly see these false images when skimming through old magazines, either at the doctors office or any sort of waiting room. What’s really messed up is that so many of these images are digitally inhanced and few of the readers seem to notice. So when a teenager skims through these magazines and sees the beautiful woman on the front cover and starts to feeel bad about her own body image it’s with false pretense. No one is perfect, and a lot of these false images can distort the idea of what “beauty” is.

Homemade Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches were my demise as a kid. My grandmother would spend countless hours picking strawberries and raspberries at those “pick your own” farms. Cartons of berries would litter her kitchen as she went through the jamming phase. At the end of this process out came the most delicious jam you’ve ever tasted, it was to die for. My fondest memories of vacations as a child were making these sandwiches with my cousins for our trips to the beach. My favorite was definitely the strawberry jam.

Peanut-Butter-And-Jelly-Sandwich

the strawberry jam

stumbleupon

Stumble Upon has similar addictive properties to that of crack. People literally spend hours upon hours “stumbling” on to new and cool websites that you wouldn’t normally be able to find with your typically search engine like Google or Yahoo. I personally have trouble not stumble when I’m on my computer, especially when I’ve got writers block and I’m trying to cram out that paper for my Tuesday class. These are just a few things that you can find on this amazing website…

Stumble not only brings you to sites but always finds funny and often thought provoking images. This one happens to be about protest signs of 2009 and is a spoof off of Kayne West’s VMA’s outburst.

There are also tons of videos that come up when you stumble, this one was pretty cool.

This one is one of my favorites, it’s the song “Stand By Me” originally performed by Ben E King covered by various musicians from all around the world.

What I like most about Stumble Upon, is that you can customize what sort of sites you stumble to. When you get stumble upon for your internet tool bar it’ll ask you to choose between a number of topics such as business, art, videos, and news and based on these preferences stumble will take you to sites that fit these categories.