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October 31, 2003

trick or treat!

This is really cute, I had to share :) My step grandmother sent this one to me in an e-mail ;)
Another, um, slightly more offensive image can be found on the extended entry part of this entry :)

dogs trickortreat.jpg

This one my older sister sent to me via e-mail :)


Posted by KarissaKilgore at 12:56 PM | Comments (7)

exercise (not the physical kind)

here's the exercise from Chapter 22 in the book. Didn't know whether to post it or to print it out, so here it is!

p. 485, chapter 22, exercise 3

One issue that may be raised by a photographer entering a house without permission to take photgraphs of the sale of illegal drugs is that this is trespassing. If it is not his property, and he doesn't have permission to be there, he is trespassing. From the book I quote, "you cannot trespass on private property to get a story or take a picture even if it is newsworthy. The courts will not protect you when you are a trespasser" (477).

Another issue that may be raised is whether or not the sale of the drugs was legitimate business. The photos taken may present the sale in a different light, and those present in the photos, so that there is unwanted negative press. Even if the stories are true, if the pictures display an act that may be offensive to the person (people) in the pictures, then there is another case of invasion of privacy.

I would NOT print the picture(s) because of the reasons stated above. Even if the photos are newsworthy and do show actual activity, it's not worth risking my name, my employer's name, and various other things (lawsuits, etc.) in order to get the "best obtainable version of the truth," which is often what news is trying to give the public.

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2003

Vegetative State doesn't keep State from Interfering

The recent issue in Florida concerning the removal of a feeding tube from a woman who has been in a vegetative state for approximately 13 years is heating up over the government's interference. The husband ordered for the feeding tube to be removed, however, Florida's governor, Jeb Bush, ordered the tube reinserted and passed a law in Florida called Terri's Law.

Read more here.

Having "Bush" affiliated with this case doesn't give it a good starting point. I mean, since this is America, we're all entitled to our opinions, but opinions of the "Bush" that is the President of the United States have varied enough and caused enough controversy to make anyone in the government named "Bush" a bias against him/her. That gives this article a very different ring because more often than not we make connections (whether they really exist or not)...

Ok, the man says his wife didn't want to be kept alive on a machine. Lots of people don't want that kind of thing, given the circumstances where that decision has to be made. But here's what I find interesting: the woman, Terri, has been in this state for THIRTEEN years. Why did the man all-of-a-sudden decide to carry out his wife's wishes?? I'm not at all in favor of euthanasia (mercy killing, or "pulling the plug" as it has been put), but really, why has he waited all of this time if this is really what the woman wanted??

This law, "Terri's Law," is rather controversial as well. The nytimes.com article mentions that the law, which was effective for a total of 15 days, oversteps patient and family decisions that the government doesn't agree with. What is the world coming to? State legislature can decide whether or not to "pull the plug" if it doesn't agree with the patient/family's wishes?!

I suppose that we're lucky that the law was active for only 15 days...

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 3:45 PM | Comments (1)

October 26, 2003

It Ain't Necessarily So Questions

here are questions for discussion. Sorry it took me so long to put these up. I wasn't sure if we should have blogged them or not... :)

questions from chapters 2-4:
1) why is it that some things can't be measured? One would think that as long as "there's a will, there's a way," but that isn't always true. What factors prevent researchers from getting measureable results?

2) Should news sources be held accountable for misinformation? Should there be requirements for follow-ups on false misleading stories?

questions from chapters 5-7:
1) Is it possible to have valid results from a poll due to the ambiguities and biases in the language of the questions?

2) What are the effects of exaggerated reports on the public> What can be done to change or better the public's knowledge of the truth behind these reports?

questions from chapters 8-10:
1) Should the political affiliations or moral beliefs of researchers have any effect on the credibility of the research?

2) If changes in methods of obtaining information take place, should journalists take responsibility in providing that information to the public?

questions from the conclusion:
1) Science influences policy, but does policy influence science, or does it merely influence what science focuses on?

2) Perception is much of how reports in science can be interpreted and used as news. To support policy, should journalists be allowed to extrapolate the information that only supprts their causes (or in disproving, should they be allowed to only focus on information that disproves something)?

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 10:34 PM | Comments (1)

October 25, 2003

Pop Quiz Repairs!

Dr. Jerz, nobody likes pop-quizzes... I mean, I even read all the stuff, and I still felt like jumping out of the fourth story window because I hate pop-quizzes. *sigh* oh well. Here are my "repairs" because I'm not confident in my on-the-spot-replies to the questions.

Quiz #1, Wednesday October 22nd:

1) Claiming that the rising number of people with a certain disease could be good news is the number of cases in that groups of people increases as a percentage of all cases, but is actually decreasing in raw numbers. Just because a percentage increases doesn't mean that the news is always bad. Percentages have to equal 100%; therefore, if the one affected group's percentage drops, the other(s) must rise--this is a good arguement to look at both raw numbers of data and percentages, rather than just one or the other.

2) ex. "Who would suffer more if federal funding for PBS was cut--adults or children?"
ex. "Do you believe that PBS provides informative, worthwhile programming a) half the time, b) less than half or sometimes, c) rarely, d) never."

Quiz #2, Friday October 24th:

1) The term "map" is used to describe the report of something which can be applied to real-life; however, "territory" is the report's application to our lives, which can often be skewed by several things including using better ways of collecting data, comparing old data to new data that wasn't collected in the same manner, and failing to realize that, for some instances, there is no real way to accurately report data (ie. crime rates are always going to be lower because not all crime is reported).

2) Hedgehog or "tunnel" vision is defined as only looking in one direction for an explanation, and ignoring any alternative explanations that may give a fuller, more definite picture of a subject.

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 9:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2003

foul language: who said what?!

I use AOL Instant Messenger as a way to keep in contact with family and friends--near and far. When I sign in, the little AOL IMToday news briefs pop up along with "Rate-a-Buddy" and search options. Typically, I ignore this and quicky "x" out of it. But, becoming more attuned to news on a whole thanks to my journalism class, I found one title of an article particularly interesting.

Check it out. You Won't Believe Who Cussed In Public

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 5:41 PM | Comments (7)

October 21, 2003

knocking marriage

CAUTION: The following may be ill-perceived by some, but I'm about to produce a concoction of my learnings from It Ain't Necessarily So , the USA Today article on marriage, and my own opinions. Just a forewarning...

I am a firm believer in marriage. More than a relationship between a man and a woman, in my opinion, marriage is the most precious bond humans can share with one another on this planet, a close contestant with the bond shared between parents and their children. This article suggests that our government is supporting marriage, the "church marriage," in particular-- is this constitutional? Here's me trying to take an objective standpoint (or at least one contrary to what my beliefs may consist of): should the government, which insists upon the "separation of church and state" in even the most extreme forms (removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance--don't get me started), be allowed to favor one form or marriage over another (church vs. court marriages), or even have an opinion on the topic to begin with? Marriage is a personal decision. As much as it is a committment to another person, it is also an individual decision. There have to be reasons, other than fear of committment or whatever that may lead to, why a person would not want to get married. Isn't it true that taxes are higher for married couples as a whole, rather than separate? (I'm not 100% certain, but this would make sense, wouldn't it?)

Considering the lessons to be learned from It Ain't Necessarily So , I don't think that it's fair to look at statistics that are dated from a census conducted in 1987. It's 2003. How is something 16 years old still relevant? Situations could have changed drastically since then, or just remaind the same. Anything is possible in 16 years (well, almost anything). I'm puzzled by the sudden insertion of facts on children parented by "single parents." This is important only if we consider that there may be a bias towards the thinking that these "court marriages" or cohabiating-parents will break-up. I can understand the concern for break-ups, but isn't that synonymous to divorce?? Same thing, without a lawsuit, right? (I'm not "knocking" marriage, so-to-speak; I already stated that I'm in favor of marriages.)
Is this really fair?
Are both sides presented?
Is the more negative aspect the focal point?
*my answers: no, no, yes.*
I'd be happy to hear yours :)

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 7:12 PM | Comments (10)

Isvestia nye Pravda, y Pravda nye Isvestia

My AP English teacher introduced those two Russian newspaper names to us in our study of Animal Farm. I had no idea that I'd run into them again in such a short period of time!! And how true it is that "The news isn't the truth, and the truth isn't news."

Tuberculosis seems so archaic-- this kind of stuff is so Edgar Allen Poe. Yet, each college student is required to have an updated TB test in order to attend school. I know this because I had to have an updated test over fall break. You know the deal: go to the doctor's office, get a shot in your forearm, bleed, come back a minimum of two days later and have the shot "read." Naturally, we don't fear the reading of the shot as much as we could. Who gets TB?? In the United States? In this day and age?? Apparently some people still do, because there are statistics on them. Arguements can go one way or the other, depending on what journalistic view you take. A Killer Returns Dropping cases of TB Progress towards the elimination of tuberculosis "Leading killer of young adults world-wide"

The drop in the national crime rate seems to be real, rather than just a figment of our imaginations. I mean, sure the possibility that some crimes aren't reported is still very real, as well, but how are we to get a good estimate if they aren't reported to begin with. Drop in violent crime hard to explain National Crime Victimization Survey

Who knew the news could be so much work? Really, who makes the decisions of what we read and don't read everyday? Journalists. Why? Because we couldn't possibly take in all the information that's out there, so someone decides what's of importance to us, the audience. Wow.

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 3:56 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2003

Crowning glory?

ok, for anyone that doesn't know already... (which probably isn't too many people, considering that this is a relatively small school and word travels pretty fast) yes, I am going to be competing for the title of Miss Pennsylvania.

I figure that I better explain this before rumours get out of hand and all that fun stuff that you've got to deal with when things are passed by word of mouth...

I was selected in early September to be in the competition, and since that point, I've begun to work my tail off (literally) to be ready for the event. Working for the $900 in sponsorship fees was the most stressful part thus far... There are 3 competitions: interview, swimsuit, and evening gown.

I picked out my swimsuit last weekend (it's turquoise blue). My shoes were paid for by a sponsor. They're 4 1/2 inch heels--which will put me at a staggering estimate of 6'5" on the runway. *woohoo!* I picked out my evening gown this weekend. It's a light pink floor-length gown, with a flowing A-line skirt. *sigh* it's beautiful. I can't help but be excited :-D

Anywho, the pageant will be held at the Hyatt adjacent to the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport on November 28th, 29th and 30th. I'm going to be out there to represent my hometown, Seton Hill, and *hopefully* Pennsylvania! Root for me, 'cause I want a a crown!

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 3:40 PM | Comments (10)

October 17, 2003


stress. Anybody heard of that? Well, I'm experiencing that... at least I think that I am. I'm typing this entry to sort of clear my mind. I don't have time for much more, so this will have to do. I'll get to that assignment later on. I'm tired, and I'm stressed-out. Does anyone care?? Probably not. Thanks, if you do...

There are just a million and one things trying to happen at once. The past two weeks have felt like senior year all over again *gasp* what insanity!

So much to do
So little time in which to do it
So much to do
So little patience left because of stress

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 7:45 AM | Comments (7)

October 15, 2003

go better bananas.

My first response after having read this article was thinking that there cannot possibly be an organization devoted to developing new bananas. That just seems incredibly out of the ordinary. Well, a quick search for a few points of interest from the article on google.com led me to the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP) website. (I was wrong.) There is an organization devoted to producing better bananas. The mission statement on the INIBAP site is as follows: INIBAP works to sustainably increase the productivity of bananas and plantains grown on smallholdings for domestic consumption and for export markets.

The next step, for me, was to find out what a plantain is, because I really didnít know. Dictionary.com says a plantain is "a large, tropical, treelike herb (Musa paradisiaca) of southeast Asia, resembling the banana and bearing similar fruit and that the fruit of this plant, used as a staple food in tropical regions." That helps me understand why it is that there is such a concern about the well-being of the banana and plantains--this is how many people survive.

Apparently, the Dr. Emile Frison that is mentioned to be in charge of the INIBAP is a recently appointed member of International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI). The article I read on his appointment to the role of Director General Designate says that there are 27 members on the team from 14 different countries trying to decode the genetic makeup of the banana in order to make a better banana. Frison has spent 18 years in the area of plant related genetics research. So, this guy is credible.

There are many articles also discussing the various affectations mentioned (Panama disease and Black sigatoka; pests) that affect the annual yield of the crops. Considering the fact that there are other things that can harm plants, outside of pesticides and the pests themselves, I found it interesting that indeed disease does affect plants, which in turn, affects hunger in countries where these crops are a main source of nourishment. That is tragic.

Initially, looking at the title of this article and just considering the subject material, I really thought that this was some kind of hoax, or a bad joke in the making at least. Honestly, "Bananas could split for good" is a terrible title for such a serious article, if the seriousness is what the source is trying to display (I'm assuming, however, that they weren't concerned with seriousness--they were concerned about the article being read in general, and a catchy title helped that, in my opinion). BBC even published a second article going into the details for the decoding of the banana's genes. The only reason a news source would normally consider doing another article on a hoax is to clarify or apologize for the misunderstanding. The second article proves to me (as if all the other research didn't) that this is NOT a hoax, because who would have the gall to put out an additional false article? Hopefully no one working at BBC because I'm sure that would cause problems...

(The continued reading on this is simply a list of links for all the sites I used in research.)

BBC's Article "Bananas going split for good"

INIBAP's site

IPGRI appointment

BBC's "Banana targeted by code crackers"

CNN's "Engineering a better banana"

Business Line's "Fungal diseases threaten bananas"

Afrol News' "Banana production may be wiped out in 10 years"

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 3:58 PM | Comments (4)

something smells fishy. I think it's that blonde over there...

What a fishy article. Let's think about what we learned in Journalism concerning the value or relevance of any news to the reader/viewer: is it important that blondes may die out in 200 years? In my humble opinion, no. (and if it were true, it may have had a bit more importance, but since it's not *see links below* that just makes it even less important; yet, because of the falsities found within, it's an issue for BBC). I mean, the most excitement this kind of article could generate, had it any truth, is a prejudice of real blondes over "bottle blondes" in the dating and mating game. This article seems to be begging for blondes to only reproduce with other blondes. How pointless is that? I can see it now: a new-age blonde bar, where only natural blondes are admitted to spend the evening dating and making plans with other natural blondes. Come on, people. That's giving people a new reason to look at one another differently. (Like we need another reason to fight against...) Instead of seeing a blonde and wondering if they really do have more fun, we could start to wonder why it matters if they have more fun if they're not going to be around in another two centuries. Really, if there were a recessive gene in control of the blonde hair color, then why wouldn't geneticists doing something about it? That's much more important than cancer or Parkinsons disease, right? Golden locks are at the top of the list of priorities when it comes to research, I'm sure.

But, since this article holds no truth, here are some links to disprove the accusations altogether:
BBC blonde article (original)
World Health Organization rebuttal
A Canadian Press article on the misinformation
The Washington Post's report of the melee

That's fun, isn't it? To be in the BBC's internet journalism department at this time is to be ridiculed and embarassed. I guess that this is a scam of some sort that BBC sadly fell for, but why no other news syndicates? Was BBC that willing to put their neck on the line for a top story that no one else would have, even if it did reek of scam? Apparently so...

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 10:25 AM | Comments (3)

October 10, 2003

sickening truth: read and reply

the posting of this article spawned from my search for sites and articles to use as links in my blog entry on lurking. Please click on the following links to read a rather *ahem* disturbing article that I think will clarify and add to what I stated in my entry on lurking.
officer posing as a 14-year-old
second try leads to "snaring"
(just a note: the first link is the same as the link that I used in my original post about lurking, just so that no one is confused)

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 4:37 PM | Comments (2)

Plain as the lies on your face.

I finally got around to reading the article posted about lurking...

Do people actually do this?! I'm appalled, but not surprised. I guess that I never really thought about it much. It's the fact that there are so many lies involved that has me strapped. We're not even supposed to trust Internet sources to use in research papers much anymore, and somehow (I'm fascinated how) journalists think that visiting chatrooms, message boards, and private sites is a viable way of gathering facts.

How is that viable? People on message boards and chats don't have to be experts in the area discussed in order to be members. It's more than likely that all they really had to do was supply a name and email address to be signed up for an account, so how is it that the "general public" (using the term loosely) is a wonderful source of information, all of a sudden?

And that's not even the beginning of the spindles of lies that could be held within this kind of reporting!

I mean, the reporters have to lie to stay hidden (or "masked") and the people on the sites replying to the reporters could be lying, as I stated above. The example given in the article about the reporter Egan doing the study on gay teens was really risky. (Lucky for the newspaper, they had a female on this topic and not a male, because I can guess what would happen if someone got ahold of a story of a reporter calling up gay teens that he met on a website to meet for an "interview." Yah, that'd go over about as well as a lead balloon, if you know what I mean...) Honestly, (ha! I make joke, no?) she could have gone wrong so many times in compiling her interviews and reports that I can't even count them! (Personally, I'd like to know what idiot kids agreed to meet with a person they met online, because it's only all over the news that people are abducted, tortured, raped, or murdered resulting from meetings with people they met on the Internet. How stupid!)

Should journalists lurk? In my humble opinion, absolutely not. Given: nothing (and I mean nothing!) on the Internet is truly private, it shouldn't matter. Saying it's okay for journalists to lurk just gives serial killers and other sick-minded members of the human race a cover for their next scheme to round up some innocents for their pleasure.

Not to mention that giving journalists the right to lurk, even if it wouldn't involve false identities and all that jazz, would really begin to demoralize the quality of the news. You're telling me that I can't use Internet sources in my research for school, but it's okay for professionals to quote something I may have posted in a message board online. Riiiggghht... that makes a whole lot of sense...

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 4:07 PM | Comments (0)

October 6, 2003

politics, smolitics

politics-(pl-tks) (n) (latin:poly-many ; English: tics-blood sucking insects) 1) The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.
2) Political science. (dictionary.com definition, with my own touch)

first of all, what really cracks me up, is that this article I'm linking to and commenting on, is in the New York Times, and that it's discussing California's governor race. Why? How is California's race for governor a "national" topic?

first of all, what really cracks me up, is that this article I'm linking to and commenting on, is in the New York Times, and that it's discussing California's governor race. Why? How is California's race for governor a "national" topic?

I'm not sure I will ever understand politics, but this fiasco with Arnold Schwarzenegger certainly doesn't help me in the least. I mean, I click on an article on nytimes.com and see the "national" headline. Could someone please explain this to me? How is California's news relavant to me, if I did live in New York? (I do understand that, thanks to the internet, more people read what the New York Times publishes than merely those that live in New York...)

Seriously, I've seen stuff on local TV news stations' websites (I don't have time to watch television, but I'm sure it'd be on their newscasts, too) about this. WHY? How is this important to me? What is the relavance? California is no where near Pennsylvania!

Alright, Schwarzenegger is in the national (and international) spotlight for this campaign because he's a Hollywood-star-gone-politician. But honestly, folks, why do I, a resident of Pennsylvania, need to be concerned with the status of the race for governor IN CALIFORNIA?!

I get more and more confused everyday when it comes to this stuff.... :-x

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 3:52 PM | Comments (6)

October 4, 2003

if ever so humble...

wonderful news, everyone. For the first time since the burning of my house on February 18th, 7 and 1/2 months ago, I got to go home this weekend and actually go HOME!

So here I sit in my father's office, listening to the over-tones of the new television a room away, feeling the warm air from the vent near my bare feet, typing away while dad attempts to write a sermon for his church services tomorrow. Everything is new--the walls, the floors, the furniture, the dishes... and that makes it hard, but I'm still thrilled just to be in this dwelling. And I don't know where anything is, either. It's really an awful version of a scavenger hunt to find anything at all. I searched for about an hour and a half last night to find my bedroom lamp. (none of the boxes are really labeled to indicate what's actually inside--that'd be way too easy. It's more interesting to see how many boxes you have to go through until you find what it is you're looking for...)

I really know I'm home because I can hear my two dogs prancing about on the new hard-wood floors, and my brothers fighting over what they're watching on TV. I can't explain how good it is to be home, even if it is only for the weekend. I kept thinking all day, "this is the first time I've done this in this house since February..." I know it's strange, but it's so true.

Adjusting is a problem, because rooms have changed. For instance, my bedroom used to be upstairs on the right (and it had a very loud lightswitch). Now it's on the left. So last night, I go upstairs to go to bed, and I go to the right, turn on the lightswitch. When I didn't hear the loud "click," and I didn't see any of my belongings (the few that there are), I freaked out. Tearing up a bit, I turned off the light in my brothers' room, and retreated to my room (on the left, with the silent lightswitch) and cried.

Everything is in a disarray, and I don't just mean boxes of random things, and scattered furniture...

It doesn't really matter though, because there's no place like home.

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 9:42 PM | Comments (7)

October 1, 2003

The heat is on

3rd floor of Brownlee residents had a floor meeting Monday night. At the meeting, everyone of us was bundled up in no less than two layers of clothing, or sporting a blanket draped over our shoulders. It was COLD. When asking about the possibility of having the heat turned on, our RAs said that there's just usually a date that they turn it on--not really dealing with the weather--but that they would see what they could do.

Let me just say that the heat is most definetly ON! I walked into my room yesterday after my afternoon classes to a sauna. It smelled of warm plastic, and that's not a good smell. Especially when the source of the smell is your computer monitor, which just happens to sit slightly over the heating vent.

Know what I did to remedy the unbearable heat? I opened the window. Yes, I let all the heat that was being pumped into the room at our request drift out of the window. At one point during the night, my roommate even turned on a fan.

I understand that there are some fun things about living at Seton Hill, but being frozen as compared to roasting a la rotisserie chicken is a bit ridiculous.

Anyone have any fun or interesting heat (or lack thereof) stories to share?

Posted by KarissaKilgore at 10:47 AM | Comments (6)