Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Huffington Post debut

Screenshot from the Huffington Post

More than 3,000 bloggers file stories to The Huffington Post. I am always looking for outlets for my work, so I thought I'd give it a try.
My first Huffington Post article is about a controversial Cuban exile named Orlando Bosch.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mystery cone at Flagler College: The plot thickens

Mysteriously a traffic cone has made its way to the top of the Flagler College Ponce Dome.

Ashley Anderson, a tour guide at the college, said that a member of her tour pointed out the traffic cone about a week and a half ago. Anderson said that nobody aside from that tour member has noticed the cone.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Yvan Kelly said he has no idea how the cone made its way up there. “My guess is someone climbed up there and put it there last week,” said Kelly. He acknowledges that work has been done on the third floor of Ponce, specifically on the dome, but doesn’t believe that an on-site worker is responsible.

Matt Angelo, a senior help desk technician at Flagler, said he spotted the cone two weeks ago after noticing students pointing up at it. Angelo said that the cone was sitting higher up on the rod on the dome. Since then, it has settled onto the top of the dome.

Students and school officials said they didn't believe that anyone has made an effort to remove the cone.

Student Carolyn Kienzle, 21, said she doesn’t want to see the cone taken down. “Some dumb kid probably placed it up there like they did two years ago with the flags on the smokestack,” said Kienzle. In the past two flags were placed on the smokestack above the Molly Wiley Art Building.

Kelly said Dan Stewart, dean of student services, is responsible for the disciplinary actions should the perpetrator be caught. “It is a safety issue and a harsher punishment could be issued if there was any damage to the building,” said Kelly.
Story by Tiffany Langello, Michael Isam and Nick Cardoso

Heightened concern over body scans before busy travel holiday

With the busiest air travel day of the year approaching, there is much talk about the 385 full-body scanners installed in 68 U.S. airports. The Transportation Security Administration hopes to install approximately 500 additional units by the end of the year.

People traveling by airplanes are going to have to make a decision between going through the body scanner, undergoing a manual pat down or agreeing to an $11,000 civil fine.

Experts warn that full body scanners could increase your risk of cancer. The radiation used in the machines could be underestimated and harmful to children. The scanner is supposed to only affect the skin and not reach the internal organs. The radiation used in the machines could be twenty times higher than originally predicted.

"I haven’t really thought about it much. In today's world it’s the price we pay, so I guess its not really invasion of privacy if its going to keep us safe," said Julio Laracuente, 22, an employee at a psychiatric hospital in New Hampshire.

National Opt-Out Day is taking place on Nov. 24, 2010. According to the National Opt-Out Day website, on this day you have the right to opt-out of the naked body scanner machines. All you have to do is say "I opt out" when they tell you to go through one of the machines. You will then be given an "enhanced" pat down. This is a right given to you by the TSA. Nov. 24 is the busiest travel day of the year, and will be used to show citizen's disagreement with the new body scanners.

The idea of a full-body scan has some people feeling uncomfortable. “At first I didn’t think anything of it, but after seeing the images the other day, it looks a little intense,” said Matt Stone, a 39-year-old account executive in North Attleboro, Mass.

When asked what he thought about full body scanners college student Brandon Crockett, 22, replied, “We should adopt the Israeli way of airport security and search people by the way they look, they have been doing it that way for over 50 years, if someone looks like a terrorist then they should be searched. There is no need for full body scans on elderly women and children; it is an unnecessary dose of radiation and a waste of time." Crockett hopes that the government will not allow strip searches to occur at the airports, and thinks if they do people will most likely begin to boycott airports.

What if you could walk through that airport body scanner, pause for the camera, and know that your naked image would never be pored over by human eyes? If it was software, not TSA screeners, who searched you and other passengers for possible explosives?

That's the vision of Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole. At a Senate hearing Wednesday, Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson conjured this future and suggested to Pisole, "It looks like technology can be a solution to the privacy issue." Pistole responded, "I think so, I'm very hopeful in that regard."

By Shea Hardiman, Elin Karlsson, Cassandra Kapelson, Amanda Newberg and Lindy Almony

Energy drink fans react to news of possible FDA ban

Flagler College sophomore Matthew Sperber remembers the harm he experienced from drinking Four Loko, a caffeinated malt alcoholic beverage.

“The first night of spring semester [in 2009], I drank three or four,” he said. “I ended up falling and cracking my head open—I had to have stitches put in.”

The 23.5-ounce drink has come under scrutiny recently for its alleged dangerous side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration Wednesday warned four companies that manufacture caffeinated malt alcoholic beverages that such products are unsafe and that the FDA may take action to ban the purchase of these drinks.

“Experts have raised concerns that caffeine can mask some of the sensory cues individuals might normally rely on to determine their level of intoxication,” the FDA stated.

Phusion Products - the company that sells the popular drink Four Loko - announced in a Nov. 16 release that it would reformulate its products to remove caffeine.

“By taking this action today, we are again demonstrating leadership, cooperation and responsible corporate citizenship,” said one of the founders of Phusion Products, Chris Hunter, in the release.

The other three companies mentioned in the FDA release are Charge Beverages, New Century Brewing and United Brands Company.

Some students say the ban is unnecessary. Justin Aprea, a 21-year-old University of North Florida student, fears that such a ban will set a bad precedent.

“It’s another step towards the governments over-involvement in the personal life of American citizens,” he said. “Land of the free or land of the regulated?”

Flagler sophomore Lauren DeGeorge agrees.

“I wouldn’t ban them because it’s someone’s choice whether they want to drink it or not,” she said.

Still, Sperber sees the positive side to a ban.

“Most people will acknowledge that it's not good for you, but college students have this immortality complex,” he said. “They think—hey, this can’t kill me. This will keep going until they ban it."

Story by Emily Hoover, Katie Taylor, Kelly Gibbs, Alex Bonus, Kamayla Hooten, Brittany Swan and Lauren Ely

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Prank at Flagler College

 Notice anything unusual in this photo, taken at Flagler College?
 Look carefully...
 Nothing unusual here...
 But this is an unusual sight. Someone topped this structure with a traffic cone.
It's a real whodunit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How to balance social life and GPA - IV

Here is a fourth response to the question - How to get good grades and still have a fun social life:

- Set goals for yourself
- Do your Home work during breaks, lunch, and free time before the night time and weekends
- Set yourself a schedule
- Attend class before an exam
- Maintain a good relationship with you professor
- Stay positive
- Eat healthy
- Try not to take anything too serious
- Stay Organized
- Don’t get involved in a serious relationship

By Victoria Choeff

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

How to balance social life and GPA - III

Here's a third response to the question - how to maintain a high GPA without sacrificing your social life:

Parties, drinking, social life; to college students, these aspects of life are crucial to their well being on a social level throughout the campus. One major aspect of college seems to stand in the way of all of these activities. This aspect is called the ,"GPA" or "Grade Point Average". Obtaining an above average to excellent GPA is crucial for college students for it represents their individual try in their academic career. To have an excellent GPA and also maintain a beneficial social life is a sticky task, but, I feel as though I have a perfect solution. I hope these helpful hints come in handy to every college student alike.

1. Always get homework done, FIRST!
2. Never say out late if you have an early class.
3. Prepare a meal before an early class to obtain beneficial retention.
4. Give yourself time to study in-between or after classes for every subject.
5. Test on Friday! No sweat, give yourself at least two weeks to study a little bit every day.
6. Before drinking, question if getting wasted will affect your sleep resolving in a skipped class.
7. If you decide to drink on a particular night and have an early class in the morning, drink water with every drink to settle your stomach for easy sleep.
8. For every drink you consume in one night, allow yourself one hour of studying prior going out.
9. Attend class, yeah it's hard sometimes, but it's totally worth the hour or so.
10. If you accidentally miss a class, follow an email to your professor or fellow classmate regarding anything you have missed.

With these helpful hints, I hope college students will learn how to better organize a successful social and academic experience.

By Michael O'Hara

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

How to balance social life and GPA - II

Here's how another group of students responded to the question:

Having an active social life without ruining your G.P.A could be difficult if you are not self disciplined. It is easy to get caught up in parties and drinking once you are away from home and free to do as you please. We girls have come with ten steps to follow by in order to still have fun without flunking out of college.

1. Finish your homework before you go out.
2. Plan your social life around your academic life.
3. Consider your schooling a 9-5 job than party afterward.
4. Mix homework with social activities ex. study groups.
5. Do not procrastinate your homework.
6. No your limits for drinking. Don’t binge drink.
7. Don’t go out every single night.
8. Get enough sleep.
9. Use your planner to stay organized.
10. Manage your Facebook time.

By Breanna Berry, Annaeleise, Jaime, Johanna, Brittany Wheeler, Erin, Emma, Alex, Lauren, Bianca, Kelsey, Nadine, Sarah, Britany, Carey, Adair, Lianne, Kelsey, Katy, Alex Carlo

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

How to balance social life and GPA - I

I asked Flagler College students for tips on how to maintain a high GPA without sacrificing their social life. Here's one of four responses I got from the students. See links for the other three responses.

Top 10 ways to balance a social life and school life
1. Don’t drink during the week
2. Get your work done during the week, so your weekend is free to socialize
3. Don’t leave your work till the last minute
4. Have a limit on how much you drink
5. If you do go out during the week, have a certain time that you will stop drinking and go home
6. If you have big projects, split it up
7. Know what classes you have to work harder in
8. Don’t go to class drunk or high
9. Don’t miss class
10. Realize that school is not free, and you are not here to party

By Andrew Kayworth, Ray Murphy, Eric Rojas, George Schoenwaelder

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Coquina magazine is back with two new editors

Coquina is an online magazine in St. Augustine

I have revived Coquina and now have the help of two new editors - Kara Large and Lauren Belcher.
I started the online magazine last year as a publishing platform for students in a writing class. My goal is to showcase and promote my students' work.
But I am happy to consider contributions from any Flagler College student or teacher. So feel free to submit original stories and photos. My e-mail address: maninhavana@yahoo.com.
Click here for more information.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Award-winning producer stands and delivers at Flagler College

Helen Whitney spoke on Tuesday at Flagler College

Producer Helen Whitney helped kick off the fall semester at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., this week, urging students to wrestle with important questions about life, literature, religion and more.
Whitney was the featured speaker at the college's convocation ceremony, which brought together Flagler's freshman class.
Her speech was inspiring and I think many professors got just as much out of it as the students. Whitney's speech flowed beautifully and was packed with dramatic tales, emotion and humor.
She didn't just entertain. She talked about students' hopes, dreams and fears. She gave them ideas. And she spoke with the kind of passion that helped her create award-winning documentaries for ABC and PBS Frontline.
Whitney encouraged students to read deeply. Don't just skim, she told them. Read, discover and learn, she said.
This is such a vital message today because many of us have turned into power browsers. We skim the Internet, flitting from page to page as we field messages, watch videos and scan headlines.
This does little to promote quiet reflection and deep thinking, yet we all know the world's full of complex problems that demand much more from all of us. Whitney's speech was a valuable reminder of that.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Summer classes begin today at Flagler College

Summer classes begin today at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.
These are scenes from the College during the last week of classes during the spring semester that ended in April 2010.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

News and Feature blogs

Below is a list of blogs from News and Feature class, Spring 2010:














Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Assorted links to student projects

Introduction to Mass Communication

St. Augustine Sundays - Video - Perry Broeseker
Vietnam Flashback: Searching for the enemy -  Photos - Mario Aiello
My Montage - photos - Taryn Cooley
Life of a graphic design student - Slideshow - Maghan Katrick
Lincolnville - Photos - Jim McNeill
Panhandlers - slideshow and video - Matt Stein and Andrew Mercier
Present Moment Cafe - video - Allison Parks
Retirement - A different world - video - Eric Morrison
Bakery - photos - Tee Hicks
Anastasia State Park - photos - Chelsea Walsh and Lauren Ruotolo
Beach photos - slideshow - Dori Uddo
Stonehenge World - YouTube - Stevie Schenk
Another world Flagler Rugby - video - Paige Dotson and Jennifer Caldwell
Stop motion - YouTube - Gabrielle Burleson and Michelle McCallister
Softball - slideshow - Victoria Jolley
COM project - PowerPoint - Celia Hodgeson
The Youth Quake - YouTube - Cierra Pillsbury and Nora Breedlove
Relay for Life 2010 - YouTube - Leah Lehman
A whole new world - YouTube - Courtney Przepasniak
Jacksonville zoo - photos - Jeffrey Howard
Cubs game - photos - Joel Lowther
Cemeteries - photos - DJ Ferguson and Jordan Novick
British Virgin Islands - video - Cabe Nolan
Gravestones - photos - Michael Greer
World of Warcraft - video - Jennifer Panitch
St. Augustine Alligator Farm - photos - Karly Berezowsky and Tea Haynes
Ocala - video and photos - Ross Schettine
Vegas Baby - photos on YouTube - Amber Jurgensen
Frat Bros - photos on YouTube - Derek Desotle
Skatepark - YouTube video - Molly Price
The zoo - YouTube slideshow - Jessica Reynolds
Flagler Golf - YouTube slideshow - Marissa Marinan
Petco - YouTube - Kaitlin DeWald
Facebook - video - Jessica Duffy and Marissa Melillo
Something to write home about - slideshow - David Castagno
An epic surf trip - YouTube - Jason Bell
Homeless coalition - YouTube - Mandy Runk
Looking into Catholic School - YouTube - Adam Krell and Lauren DeGeorge
Skydiving - YouTube - Kara Duffy
Parade - photos - Tori Baker
The Ranch - photos - Erica Carothers and Kelliie Westfield
London - slides - Greg Taafe
My cesspool apartment - YouTube - Christian Hintz
A Walk in St. Augustine - slideshow - Drew Vigna
My family - slideshow - Ben Cirilo

Chris Jones. No link.

The Masters - slideshow - Corey Burkely. Link doesn't work.

Magazine Article Writing

Amy Hendrickson - Slideshow with music - Steve Strait and Jill Morgenthaler

News and Feature Reporting

Walk MS in St. Augustine - Slideshow - Jill Morgenthaler
Washington Oaks Garden - Video - Dustin Boshart and Louis Thompson
How to hit a tee shot - slideshow - Taylor Laskoski
Planet Smoothie and Acai - Video and blog - Kaitlyn Teabo
Zumba at Flagler College - Video - Steve Strait and Mari Pothier
Death of airplanes - Photos - Rachel Bruce and Whitney Blair
Body art - YouTube - J.D. Bray

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Students react to Mexico presentation

Journalists Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga on Monday visited Flagler College and spoke about the drug violence that has killed more than 18,000 people in Mexico since 2006.

Here are some students' reactions to what they heard:

I find it shocking and interesting what both Alfredo and Angela see when doing their job. Eye opening what has to be endured to get the story.
- Marissa Marinan

I thought the presentation was very interesting today. I just read a news article last week detailing the increased amount of violence with media reporters on the Mexican border so it was cool to hear first hand experiences.
- Chris Jones

I feel that the presentation by Alfredo and Angela showed that you need to do whatever it takes to get the job done, whether that puts your life in danger or not. Also, always follow your dreams, don't do something because someone else told you to do it.
- Courtney Przepasniak

The most interesting point of the presentation today was understanding how dangerous journalism really is. Trying to cover stories that need to be shared such as the children being shot in Mexico can cost you your life.
- Paige Dotson

I thought that the opening presentation for communications week was extremely interesting. I have to be honest, I'm not a communications major and I was concerned that I would be bored, but the video footage, and speech, that Alfredo and Angela showed was very eye-opening. I really enjoyed going to this presentation.
Taryn Cooley

I thought that Alfredo and Angela gave great insight into journalism coverage in Mexico. It is amazing how dangerous that area of the world is right now.
- Joel Lowther

I really enjoyed this presentation, I never realized journalism could be this dangerous. They really showed a special passion for their line of work.
- Matt Stein

It was impactful to see Angela so well composed and objective while reporting in the video clips, as contrasted by her and Alfredo's personal accounts and emotional reactions to the violence that they witnessed- which they shared today.
- Eric Morrison

I was super impressed by Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga coverage of the U.S. -Mexico boarder. I did not know before attending the speech how serious the matter is. By listening and seeing there coverage, I have gained more interest in the field of journalism. I look forward to attending more speakers during com week.
- Andrew Mercier

I was totally unaware of all of the violence going on in Mexico, so close to the US border. I had heard some about the drug Cartels problem but I didn't know it was so serious. I thought the presentation was really interesting. And I think that the media is too heavily censored, the American public deserves the right to know what is happening. And that story she said about her bloody shoes and having the throw them away would have only enhanced the story via video footage or still shots.
- Karly Berezowsky

I thought that their presentation was insightful and went well. I learned more than I ever knew about the drug trafficking within Mexico and the border regulations. I thought that they both handled the challenging commentary from the audience well and did their best to answer our concerns.
- Chelsea Walsh

Alfredo and Angela had a lot of information about Mexico and the war going on. I didn't know anything about the problems that Mexico's having with drug wars and internal fighting. The video clips they showed were interesting and the talks about having to censor the things you show for the news were also informal. I'm glad I ended up going and I learned a lot about rules of censorship and Mexico's internal problems.
- Gabby Burleson

I was shocked to learn about how many people have died, just since 2006 in the Mexican drug wars. It was sad to see the fear that the children of many of the border towns in Mexico must live in, because of the violence.
- Michael Greer

I enjoyed the informative presentation of Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga. I did not know that the dangers of Mexico were getting worse day by day. Some people may say it's not ethical or in good taste to show the horrific gore these people witness from day to day, but I think showing the public the uncensored truth will provoke stronger emotions and begin solutions for the problem.
- Katidra Hicks

The speakers today really sparked my attention. I really wish they could have shown us raw footage instead of a sanitized version. Unfortunately, I had to leave early because of my 12 o'clock class. Can't wait for the next speaker!
- Jessica Reynolds

My aspirations as a Flagler College student studying Communications is to pursue a career in Journalism after graduation. It was inspiring to hear how both speakers have made such an impact on the world doing something they genuinely love to do.
-Marissa Melillo

What I found most interesting about this speech was that it focused on topics I had little education about, and it was very interesting to gain a new perspective.
-Jessica Duffy

Today when the two speakers, Angela and Alfredo, began speaking, I thought that the speeches were going to be about their jobs and how they got to where they are now, later to find out about a huge controversy happening in Mexico. I cannot fathom that fact that drug trafficking and mass murders happen on a daily basis and the government has no idea/won't do anything about it. I wish I didn't have another class at 12:00 today so I could stay and listen to their stories about how they report on the scene of where it all takes place, like the funeral they attended.
- Adam Krell

I thought the speakers were very interesting. I admire their courage for going into dangerous places and putting their lives at risk just to get the story out.
- Allison Parks

I found it extremely interesting how I had no idea of the severity of what is going on in Mexico right now. I really liked the speakers, they seemed very humble, and sincere. It intrigued me also because I am a Spanish major, and it was cool to see how the language is so important for them in their work. I also liked how they allowed the audience to answer some of the questions they asked. Like how much should one show when reporting on an incident. I think that they should show everything as long as it is not exploiting someone or a victim. For instance, blurring out body parts that may be showing. I wouldn't want my dead body to be exposed to the point where there a parts where if I was alive I would be covering up. I do think that we should not water down what is really going on in the world, maybe it would move some of us to try and do something about the issue. Overall, I enjoyed the speakers.
- Cierra Pillsbury

I felt that it was very interesting how journalists get put into so much harm's way. I always felt like they were protected because they were with the United States, but I guess not.
- David Ferguson

Communication week has been a great learning experience for me so far. I actually plan on changing my major from business administration to communication. The problem is that I have no idea what I want to do for work after college. When I attended our class in the student center on Monday the two speakers were very interesting to listen to. They had a lot of great stories of their experiences in the field. I could truly tell they both loved what they did and were both great communicators. Thank you for this opportunity to allow me to hear about their experiences and thoughts. Have a great week.
- Jeffrey Howard

I found the speaker's Alfredo and Angela very insightful. The kind of stories they covered concerning the Mexican cartels prove to be extremely dangerous. Numerous innocent people and reporters have been kidnapped and even murdered because of the drug cartels. I have been urged to become more involved and to learn more about the serious war on drugs, weapons and violence within Mexico.
-Kellie Westfield

I thought that the speakers showed true interest in what they did. They wanted to truly get the point across of how dangerous their job can actually be.
- Erica Carothers

I thought the speakers were very informative and I think their mission to bring these dangerous issues into the public eye is very noble. I wasn't aware these things were happening and i think it is horrible that they still occur. I am glad the government is finally distancing themselves from the organized crime and finally working to solve the problem. I wish i could have stayed for the entire presentation. Can't wait to see whats in store for tomorrow.
- Jim McNeill

The speakers on Monday, Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga were really great. They were both extremely passionate for their job and the topics they covered over in Mexico. I got the impression that they took their job very seriously and wanted to do the best job covering the stories as possible.
- Leah Lehman

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kevin Sites biography

Kevin Sites

Kevin Sites, an award-winning author and multi-media journalist, is scheduled to speak March 22 at Flagler College in St. Augustine. His biography is below:

Award-winning journalist and author Kevin Sites has spent the past decade covering global war and disaster for ABC, NBC, CNN and Yahoo! News. Dubbed by the trade press as the granddaddy of backpack journalists--Sites helped blaze the trail for intrepid reporters who work alone, carrying only a backpack of portable digital technology to shoot, write, edit and transmit multimedia reports from the world's most dangerous places.

Sites is currently in residence at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA having been named a 2010 Nieman Foundation Journalism Fellow and is working on his second book for Harper Perennial to be released in 2010, The Things We Cannot Say: What the World’s Warriors Can’t Tell You About What They’ve Seen, Done or Failed to Do in War. Sites’s first book, In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars, shares his effort to put a human face on global conflict by reporting from every major war zone in one year.

As Yahoo!’s first news correspondent, Sites covered every major conflict in the world from 2005 to 2006. Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone reported stories that often were under-covered or overlooked by mainstream media for Yahoo!’s global audience of 400 million users. In response, the Los Angeles Press Club awarded Sites the esteemed 2006 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism and Forbes Magazine listed him as one of 2007’s Web Celeb 25, “the biggest, brightest and most influential people on the web today.” Hot Zone’s site was designated by Time Magazine as one of 2006’s 50 Coolest Websites on the Internet. Hot Zone also won the prestigious Webby Award in 2007 for coverage of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict and was identified as the best online journalism site by both the National Press Club and The National Headliner Awards. In 2008 he was inducted into Northwestern University’s Medill Hall of Achievement.

Sites became a flashpoint of controversy in November 2004 when, as an NBC News correspondent, he videotaped the shooting of a wounded Iraqi insurgent in a Falluja mosque by a U.S. Marine—one of the biggest stories of the current Iraqi war. After the video’s airing, Sites was praised as a journalist willing to reveal the harsh realities of war and simultaneously vilified as a traitor to both the Marine unit that embedded him and his country. For his television and web coverage of the story, Sites was honored with the 2005 Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism and was nominated for a national Emmy Award, his second such honor.

Sites’ controversial and award-winning war blog, www.kevinsites.net, revolutionized the genre as one of the first blogs that combined text, digital images and audio to provide readers with an intimate, behind-the-lines look at the war in Iraq and its coverage by mainstream media. Wired Magazine named Sites the recipient of their RAVE Award in 2004—the first ever for blogging.

Sites’s coverage extends from the jungles of Colombia where he filmed U.S. anti-drug efforts, including coca spraying operations and the Colombian government’s Jungle Commando training, to ground zero in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where he witnessed the aftermath of the 2005 Southeast Asia tsunami. He was captured by Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen militia and threatened with death while attempting to be the first western journalists to reach Tikrit during the initial invasion of Iraq. Sites spent nearly six months in Afghanistan covering the Northern and Eastern Alliance forces before and after the fall of the Taliban, where he shot some of the earliest video of the conflict’s ground combat, including the first American casualty—a journalist wounded during a Taliban mortar attack.

Sites’s career spans cable and network news as well as print journalism. As a producer for NBC News, he received an Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of the Kosovo war and was nominated for a national Emmy Award for contributions to a series on landmines. He has produced shows such as NBC’s Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and ABC's This Week with David Brinkley. Sites has published numerous articles in newspapers and magazines, including Popular Science, BlackBook and The New Times, among others.

During a two-year sabbatical, Sites served as Broadcast Lecturer at California Polytechnic State University, Cal Poly, in San Luis Obispo and was named Distinguished Lecturer by the California Faculty Association. While at Cal Poly, he initiated a joint research project with Xybernaut Inc. to modify wearable computers for solo digital reporting.

A native of Geneva, Ohio, Sites holds a Master's Degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. When not on assignment, he lives in Southern California.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Students, even some parents, painting feet for Haiti

A sampling of the painted feet

Flagler Colleges students - and even some of their parents - are painting their feet to raise awareness of Haitian earthquake victims. Some students are taking photos of their painted feet. Then they are replacing their Facebook profile photo with the feet picture.
Another thing you can do to get into the giving spirit: Text the keyword SHOES to #85944. That sends a pair of shoes to a child in Haiti and other developing nations; $5 is added to your cell phone bill. For more information, see Samaritan’s Feet web site.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Shuttle launch lights up sky 115 miles away

A brilliant shot. Photo credit: James Vernacotola

An enterprising photographer captured this wonderful time-lapse photo of the final nighttime space shuttle launch.
The photo was taken at about 4:14 a.m. on Feb. 8 from atop the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge in Ponte Vedra.
Temperature: A brisk 34 degrees.
Closer to the scene, here's how George Leopold of the EE Times described the launch:
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The sun came out early down here on Monday morning.

The final nighttime launch of the Space Shuttle program lit up the Cape Canaveral area for several minutes. The locals down in Cocoa Beach about 10 miles south from here said they also heard Shuttle Endeavour roar into orbit at 4:14 a.m.

For first-timers like me, the sun-like affect of a pre-down launch was astounding. There's a good reason: NASA says the combustion gases of the Shuttle's solid rocket motors are about two-thirds the temperature of the surface of the sun (6,100 degrees F).

Then there is the sound -- a wall of sound, actually. We were told at the NASA press center about 2.5 miles from Pad 39A to brace for the sonic wave generated by the Shuttle's three main engines. It hits a couple of seconds after liftoff. First there is the blinding flash of light, then the thrust billowing up on all sides and finally the sound wave (despite the literal damping of sound by a Sound Suppression Water System on the pad) .

I swear it made the cuffs on my pants flap.

Once the Shuttle commences its roll program maneuver and throttles up to reach orbit, things gradually begin to quiet down. The observer, mouth agape, next hears all the car alarms going off in the visitors' parking lot.

Nothing like has been seen or heard around here since the heyday of Apollo in the late 1960s.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Coquina magazine launched

Coquina magazine

Over the weekend, I started an online magazine for Flagler College students. It is called Coquina, named after the native Florida rock used to build Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine.
The magazine is a work in progress. I'll add students' stories and photos in the weeks and months to come. My hope is that Coquina will give students a way to showcase some of their best stories and photos.

The magazine will include:
* Profiles of some of the fascinating characters who live in and around St. Augustine.
* Articles about attractions, museums, parks, businesses and other local spots.
* How-to articles giving advice on everything from surfing to how to survive the Apocalypse.
* Stories about interesting or controversial issues.
* Articles about restaurants and local watering holes.
* Tales about life in St. Augustine.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quickie Critiques

Jason Bell. YouTube link.

Flagler College students this week reviewed some of the latest movies. This came after a discussion about Hollywood's portrayal of young people in movies.
Among the questions we covered:
What do movies and their portrayal of youth tell us about our values?
What do they tell us about American society?
What can we learn if we try to analyze movies as cultural artifacts?
Who are the stereotypical characters in many teen-age movies?
What are some of the differences between movies about life in urban, suburban and private-school settings?
Our source material for the discussion relied heavily on the book, Hollywood goes to High School by Robert Bulman.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Flagler students: More to life than Brangelina and Snooki?

Jaclyn Miklos. See YouTube video here.

Flagler College students talk about the media in the United States. Among their views:
* The media has lost sight of what's important.
* It's driven by money and profit.
* We like the dirt.
* We're obsessed with it. We allow the media to consume us.
* Are things like Brangelina and Snooki the most important? Or should we be focusing on international issues and moral and cultural situations around the world.
Steve Meehan

That quotable preacher from Georgia

Andrew Young at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.

"My daddy thought all preachers were crooks or poor."
- On his father's refusal to send him to seminary school.
"Being an American citizen was an automatic passport to prosperity. All that changed with Martin Luther King's death. "
- On the idea that the American dream is more elusive today than it was four decades ago.
"The world is more difficult for ordinary people unless you're born with a trust fund."
- On getting ahead in today's economy.
"We don't need any more lawyers."
- Lawyers haven't helped fix what ails America, he says.
"We need somebody to understand the U.S. economy if we're going to complete Martin Luther King's dream of ending war, racism and poverty."

"A man can't ride your back unless you bend over and let him."
- Something Martin Luther King Jr. used to say.
There's no secret virtue in being part of the civil rights movement. I almost had no choice."
- His fight for racial equality was practically a matter of survival, he says.
"I don't think we'll ever get there."
- On whether Americans will ever achieve the kind of racial equality that Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned.
"At least you're raising these questions in the open. Just because you're raising the questions, you might find the answer."
- On efforts at Flagler College to better understand the historical role of St. Augustine in the struggle for racial equality.
"There's a time in life when everybody ought to be an atheist for a while."
- Young people ought to discover religion on their own rather than blindly accept what others tell them, he says.
"Gandhi, more than Jesus, gave us this methodology."
- On the role of non-violence in the fight for civil rights in the 1960s.

Student journalists write about Andrew Young's visit

Andrew Young

Former U.S. ambassador Andrew Young visited Flagler College on Feb. 9 and spoke to students and faculty members.
Six journalism students listened to Young's remarks, then interviewed people in the crowd at Flagler's Gamache-Koger Theater. The journalists found the ambassador's talk to be interesting and inspiring. Below is what they wrote:

By Mari Pothier

Ambassador Andrew Young is an incredible man with an incredible past. Today, Flagler College was honored to have him speak to select students, faculty and staff about his journey here in St. Augustine. Young discussed a variety of topics with the students, the first being the redemption of the soul of America by removing the triple evils of racism, war and poverty. He believes the best way to resolve conflicts are by talking to enemies, not waging wars. Young gave us the example of how he was sent to Africa by President Jimmy Carter to discover what they wanted from the United States. Essentially, they wanted our respect. This then led to him expressing how everyone called Carter a weak president but not one person died in war under his presidency.

Young also talked about how today it is very hard for people to improve their economic standings, except if they are, “born with a trust fund.” Today, as students, we do not, in his opinion, have the same opportunities as older generations. One aspect though that stood out was his comment in that all young people at some point in their lives, should become atheists. Young feels that doubt leads to the greatest beliefs.

Jillian McClure, a junior at Flagler College and the original person to contact the Andrew Young Foundation, expressed in high spirits her reaction to his lecture.

“It was wonderful to be in the presence of such a wonderful person,” McClure said.

Lauren Avard, a sophomore and a history major at Flagler College thought Young made good points, but did not agree with everything he said.

“I thought he was a very good speaker, very eloquent,” Avard said.

Melissa Dagenais, a junior and also a history major at Flagler College, said the lecture was not what she was expecting and thought he was going to talk more on his documentary and involvement in St. Augustine.

“I really enjoyed his talk,” Dagenais said.

In all, it was an honor to be in the presence of such a courageous man.

By Kaitlyn Teabo

Civil Rights activist and former Atlanta Mayor Ambassador Andrew Young touched on how segregation is less common as when Martin Luther King was alive, but also how poverty is increasingly getting worse. He estimated that 40 percent of the American population is living under the poverty line today, compared to 30 percent in MLK's time.

"Unless you come from a privileged family, it getting harder and harder to climb the ladder of success," said Young.

His speech left many students and faculty inspired by his speech on civil rights.

Flagler College student Lauren Ruotolo, 19, left the speech with something to think about.

"I thought it was really inspirational. It gave me a feel that there is still hope for change, even though there is still segregation today," said Ruotolo. She felt enlightened after watching the speech.

Flagler College Professor Tim Johnson, 56, was also moved be the speech. "The fact that Flagler College can think about reconciliation made me pleased to come," said Johnson. "I am familiar with the civil rights movement in St. Augustine and was pleased to come out today."

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Teabo

By Jodi Marich

As students exited the room where Ambassador Andrew Young gave a speech, many talked quietly to their friends, but Chuck Riffenburg spoke above the crowd. "Fantastic!" He exclaimed to his friends.

Riffenburg is a Junior at Flagler College who is majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Religion. He said that the ambassador had touched on a lot of the key issues that Riffenburg experiences in his own life.

Congressman, Ambassador, and Mayor are are titles that Andrew Young go by, but Reverend is the name he is known for the most.

A civil rights activist, Reverend Young worked with Dr. Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s. In 1956, 100 ministers got together and created an organization to redeem America.

"It was illegal for us to come together like this in 1956, so we decided legal barriers needed to be broken down," Young said. He went on to say, " Part of Dr. Martin Luther King's mission was to get people to talk to their enemies."

Young and his friends talked about the dreaded debate of racism. So many in this country are uncomfortable around one another and different races. They believe that racism is still very much a part of this country and that it is the 3rd rail in the U.S.

"None of us have anything to say about how we were born. Nobody chose their parents, we are all here by an act of God," Young said.

Young is trying to get the word out there that we, young people, need to take charge and fix the problems out there in the world. We need to make the changes that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, dreamed of.

Jeff Wheeler, a Flagler College student, felt that there were many good points in the speech. "I feel racism is ingrained between black and white people." He thinks that they lived in a different time than we live in now, but still belives that racism is out there.

Kaitlyn Teabo, a Flagler College student, felt it was an inspirational speech. "It opened my eyes up to the civil rights movement in St. Augustine and it brought to my attention that although segregation has improved, poverty is still a problem with in the United States."

By Brittney Piescik

The ambassador spoke about racism, war and poverty and that Martin Luther King worked to correct these three things. He said that it is important for young people to question the things in their lives in order to gain a better understanding.

"There was a part in my life where I thought that everyone should be a young atheist," he said. Young defined atheism as honest doubt. There was a time when Young had questions and doubts as well. He asked his aunt when he was a teenager if Heaven was segregated and she shouted that he'd be struck down where he stood by God.

According to Young, "Life is a creative struggle.." and Chuck Riffenburg couldn't agree more.

"I think that it is very important that everybody starts thinking like these gentlemen here," said Riffenburg.

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Teabo

By Rachel Bruce

Andrew Young, reverend, mayor, congressman, ambassador for the United Nations and a friend of the late Martin Luther King Jr., came to Flagler to speak today. The 1951 graduate of Howard University wanted to pursue religion and continued his education to seminary school before accomplishing the major things of his life. Young was appointed as ambassador of the United Nations by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Young was the first African-American appointed to that position.

Young’s speech contained several stories of his life through seminary, politics and civil rights movement. He had one thing to say about civil rights in the 1960s, “Young, black and poor people were disillusioned with politics.”

He said the number of assassinations were extremely high around the time King was killed. He said people were obviously having a tough time with sharing rights at that point.

St. Augustine had a big role with the civil rights movement. The Civil Act Movement of 1964 was passed for St. Augustine. Countering this, Young said, “The people of this community responded to violence with nonviolence.”

He also said things have not necessarily changed for racism except there are laws that state there will be no segregation.

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Teabo

By Cal Colgan

The following are reactions from three students who attended Ambassador Andrew Young's speech at the Gamache-Croger theatre in the Flagler College Student Center at 2 p.m.:

"I thought it was really informative, given the perspective of what happened in the city," said Dave Hiller, 23, a senior and history major at Flagler. "I wish [Young and his colleagues] would have elaborated on what happened in the city."

"I thought it was interesting having all the perspectives of those who were [involved in the Civil Rights movement] at the time," said James Tyer, 20, junior and political science major at Flagler. "I think [Young] focused a little too much on economics."

Flagler junior and business major Jeff Wheeler had a different view on Ambassador Young's speech. Wheeler said that he was surprised at Young's perspective on civil rights and race relations, especially how they exist today. "We're more accustomed to it, and there's not that big of a change," said Wheeler, 21.

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Teabo

Selected Young quotes, submitted by Taylor Laskoski:
Part of Dr. Kings message was to get people to talk to their enemies.
You had a government that believed in investing in its people.
Being an American citizen meant an automatic pass to prosperity.This community put nonviolence to the test.
The test for us is how we deal with the challenges we have.
Photo credit: Taylor Laskoski

Here's another take, this one submitted by Dustin Boshart:

First off he was a great leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He has been a reverend, a mayor, a congressman and an ambassador. He believes in setting good examples, and for the young to lead the moral revolution.
Like MLK, he wanted to stop racism, war and poverty. Blacks and whites couldn't eat together, learn together or even work together and those racist barriers needed to be broke down.
He was in ROTC, but because of a broken wrist he was forced to leave the military because of his inability to carry a rifle correctly or "Uncle Sam's Way." He believes that that saved his life.
Young said:
I learned war was not necessary ... MLK wanted people to talk to their enemies.
We are all here from the grace of God. We don't chose our parents, no one says what their born from. Whether it's white and rich, black and rich, white and poor or black and poor... it doesn't matter.
Life is a creative kind of struggle. The Civil Rights Movement said let's do it without violence.
First Coast News report on a Flagler College student's role in bringing Andrew Young to St. Augustine

Friday, February 5, 2010

Check out this image

I'm trying out mobile blogging and this is a test...

I wanted to share something on Photobucket with you!

See the fullsize version at: http://s931.photobucket.com/albums/ad151/maninhavana/?action=view&current=7309d16b.jpg&evt=user_media_share

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Think it. Write it. Get out.

Six-Word Memoirs

Trying to come up with a half dozen words that say something about your life is a great exercise for aspiring writers.
Smith Magazine, founded in 2006, asks people to submit stories to a Web site called Six-Word Memoirs. The Web site says:
Everyone has a story. Can you tell yours in six words? Submit yours to be considered for SMITH's next six-word memoir book. The first book, Not Quite What I Was Planning, is a NYT bestseller featuring more than 800 writers, famous and obscure..

Our newest book, Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak, is a roller-coaster ride through the complexities of the human heart. It's just $10 — bring it instead of a bottle of wine to your next party.
I asked some of my students to write their own Six-Word Memoirs and submit them to the Web site. They came up with some winners, including:

Lucky to be alive on earth.
- Caroline Young
With God, I will survive.
- Mari Pothier
Insane people make life more interesting.
- Cal Colgan
Anxiety: not meeting up to expectations.
- JD Bray
Life: one big opportunity; say yes.
- Brittney Piescik
Girl in jeans with big dream.- Jody Marich

I'll Forgive But I'll Never Forget
- Whitney Blair
To love and to be loved
- Kaitlyn Teabo

Big Bird attacks Bambi

Animal encounter in Palm Coast, Fla.

A Sandhill Crane chomps the nose of a curious young fawn. Link: YouTube video.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Flagler College students debate pros and cons of TV

Maghan Katrick

Flagler College students today discussed whether television is good or bad for society. Maghan Katrick, above, said she doesn't have cable at home. See her video clip here. She said:
I'd prefer not to be bombarded with the news and commercials and things like that.
Jessica Reynolds

Jessica Reynolds said the Discovery Channel and other educational channels can be good for viewers. See her video clip here.

Below are video clips of students interviewing each other.

Michelle McCallister

Greg Taafe interviewed Michelle McCallister. The video clip is here. Michelle said she watches "for sure a couple hours" of television every day. She said:
You gotta watch that much.
Television is a part of our American society, she said.
There's nothing much we can do now.
Robert Perry

Christian Hintz interviewed Robert Perry, who described television as "bad" for society because it contributes to "laziness." See clip here.

Melissa Schafroth

Courtney Przepasniak interviewed Melissa Schafroth, who said television "takes away from family time." See video clip here.

Snuggies: Enhancing the lure of television since 2008.

Jessica Duffy spoke to two students, Cassidy Killinger, who appeared to be wearing a Wild Side™ Leopard Super Soft Fleece Blanket, and Morganne Lonny. See video clip.

Christian Tomaselli

Matt Stein interviewed Christian Tomaselli, who said television "makes you lazy." See video.

The Job Fairy

Here's another funny ad. These screenshots were taken from Careerbuilder's Hire My TV Ad Web site. The other ads getting the highest number of votes are: Casual Fridays (yep, more underwear) and Worst Seat.

The "Clothing Drive"

Videos that go viral can be effective, cost-effective advertising for any company. This video is an example of that. Tim Nudd reports:

Having done the bleeped-out-obscenities thing for its obscenely popular "Swear Jar" spot (recently voted the best commercial of the last decade by Adweek readers), DDB and Bud Light (and production company Tool of North America) go for the visual equivalent in this sequel, called "Clothing Drive." Instead of adding to their Bud Light haul by swearing, here the office employees do so by stripping. The shoot must have been a bit more challenging for all involved, and it's a shame those black "censored" markings aren't quite as funny as bleeps. Still, for those who love seeing office drones in their underwear, you're in luck this Super Bowl season: You can see (and even vote for) a remarkably similar CareerBuilder spot over at this Web site.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Journalist for a day

Rock, paper, scissors

Flagler College journalism students on Saturday helped younger students publish their first news articles.
Two of the students, above, played a game of "Rock, paper and scissors" to decide who got to do one of the stories.
See YouTube video here.

Dr. Helena Sarkio

Dr. Helena Sarkio, adviser to Flagler College's student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, coordinated the event. Her blog is here.

Aime Dames

Amie Dames, 10, of St. Augustine, said she is an aspiring fashion designer. But she said she wanted to try working as a journalist for a day because:
I thought it would be a good learning experience. It might be a cool job to do when I get older.
Here Amie returns after interviewing the builder of a new facility for the Boys & Girls Club.
Justin Black and his daughter

Justin Black, 24, brought the students - along with his three-month-old daughter Isabella - to Saturday's event. He is director of the local Boys & Girls Club. He said he's interested in showing the students different career possibilities. He said:
The more I can expose them to, the better. I'm a believer in 'knowledge is power.'
He said these children are eager to learn, especially when they see that someone is interested in them. Black said:
They literally are like sponges when they start learning about something new.
Kiegee Proctor, 14, right, interviewed La’teefah Green for a story about text messaging.

The students' articles can be found on the Gargoyle Web site.