Henderson’s Tutorial Put to Use

John R. Henderson’s tutorial proves that research is more than knowing how to navigate Google or other search engines. He maps out how to differentiate between reliable websites and the junk.

“The American Cultural History”  appears to be a very solid online source. I noticed that the url was a “.edu” which means that it is from an educational source. The webpage is filled with hyperlinks that bring the reader to the source. Many of the links lead to more “.edu” sites which gives this page more ground. Along with all the hyperlinks there is a great amount of book references and citations, this only adds reinforcement to the web pages credibility. The site has not seen much activity as the last update was over two years ago, but most of the information presented can be traced back to its source. This is an authoritative site because the authors and designer are clearly noted at the bottom of the page. The dean of educational services at Lone Star College designed the page, but it was written by two of the college’s staff.

The 1960’s “History.com” site does not seem like an authoritative webpage. This is a circumstance where we cannot let the name or brand become misleading. My biggest concern with this webpage is the lack of sources. There are no hyperlinks within the text to bring us to the place where the writer got their information. On that note, the author is not even noted on this web page. This is a red flag in my opinion especially if I were going to consider using this site for research. I cannot determine who wrote the text or what their credibility is and for that reason I would not use this site for research.

Continue reading

A Requiem for a Piano

Bryan O’Mara is the vice president of O’Mara Meehan Piano Movers, a company that that been in O’Mara’s family for generations. O’Mara became a member of his families company in 1987, but it has been operating since 1874.

Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart became immortal legends through their mastery of the piano. People would crowd theaters just to hear these artists play these instruments, but in the 21th century they are becoming a distant memory.

The multimedia elements of the article creates more of an emotional response, grieving over lost furniture. The lead of the text draws the viewer in with its intriguing wordplay. The first two sentences pull in the reader,

“The Knabe baby grand did a cartwheel and landed on its back, legs poking into the air. A Lester upright thudded onto its side with a final groan of strings, a death-rattling chord.”

This description personifies the piano, and we view it as alive. Author Daniel Wakin creates the image of the piano as a living thing, by using phrases that are actions. He refers to the piano performing a “cartwheel, poking, and groaning,” all of which cannot be performed by inanimate objects.

Wakin also says that a trash-transfer station is one of the places pianos go to ‘die,’ which is another way he makes it seem like the pianos are living things.

Continue reading

Using Social Media as a Journalist

Social media creates countless new ways for writers tell stories, it’s evolution has been a breath of fresh air for journalist.

We use social media to search for stories and as a way to share published work. Journalists create news packages online so they can share them directly with their audience. Friends and followers can see recent posts on their user feeds and stay updated on the day’s events.

This means that readers will not have to browse through news websites for certain stories, the reader just needs to keep an eye on their Facebook page and/or Twitter feeds.

Journalists are now able to update stories and events as they are unfolding.  Microblogging via Twitter allows users to convey messages with a 140-character limit. This began the idea of publishing stories immediately to get the word out, and then following up once more reporting has been done.

Continue reading

President Obama’s Drone War

On CBS Sunday Morning, President Barack Obama’s administration was defending its use of mechanical drones on suspected terrorist. Obama’s use of “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” has stirred controversy since he first mentioned the existence of these drones back in January 2012.

Warfare continues to evolve as technology advances, and the president’s administration has been linked to drone strikes dating back to 2004. Prior to 2004, the MQ-1B Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper drones were used mainly for surveillance in Pakistan.

The remotely piloted drones include visual sensors which allow those operating them to hone in on targets from miles away. The Reaper is armed with four hellfire missiles, each complete with its own guidance computer. The ability to lock onto targets from a distance is a critical advantage on the warfront.

Continue reading