Riding a Rollercoaster

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Are there ever days or weeks where it feels like you’re riding the emotional roller coaster?  I’m guessing there are some of those times for everyone.  I know today was one for me…

Last night was pretty good.  Didn’t go to the bar, but my roommate had some pretty cool people over.  So, I was going up that first hill, you might say.

I wake up really not wanting to go to my Macroeconomics class.  However, I know I’ll be starting a downward trend if I don’t, since it’s a tough class.  So, I go.  It turns out to be a pretty slow moving class today (as all of them have been), so I’m happy to get back to my room.  So, now I’ve gone down into a pretty deep first valley.

Once back at my dorm, I zoomed quickly up another hill, and maybe even a loop or two when an email from scifi.com reminds me that the Season 4 Premiere of Stargate Atlantis is tonight.  That, combined with the second to last episode of this season of Doctor Who (which should prove to be an exciting one), I was feeling pretty good.  Got right over the Macroeconomics class.

So, I got some stuff done for the club I’m in, and went to my Communication Research class, which, despite the horror stories from people who’ve had him in the past, is moderately enjoyable to sit through and learn.  So, I’m zooming right along on some level ground.

Got out of there, and had to go get a flier for the club approved, which I did.  Then I had the idea to go and capture the segment videos for Expedition I was just sent.   Called my dad to see when he was going to pick me up today.

You ever see those movies where the roller coaster is going through a loop and it stops at the top?  Well, that’s where I am right now, because of some pretty bad news I received while talking to my dad.

My grandfather on my mom’s side has died.

Not all the details are known, but I know he committed suicide, probably from a combination of anti-depressant drugs (I think stemming from his time in Vietnam) and years of rather heavy drinking.  Those two are not a good combination, to say the least.

I’m don’t know a lot about how he was before Vietnam, but after, I gather he was a pretty heavy drinker, which led to the divorce.  Unfortunately, that never stopped, and he married and divorced again in the years since divorcing from my grandmother.

He was a soldier that went to Vietnam for two tours, and as a para-trooper, got exposed to the toxic Agent Orange gas, which affected both him and his children.  Luckily, I guess you could say, my mom was born before he went to Vietnam, so does not have the have the same things as his other children.

I didn’t know him well in my younger years, only seeing him every once in a while, since he hopped in residence from Florida to Connecticut to Massachusetts.  But he loved to visit other places, and aside from his military-based travel, he’s gone from coast to coast in this country.

After one of these travels, he ended up found without his van somewhere in the Southwest U.S. (think it was California), after which he came to live with us for a period of time so that we could keep an eye on him and help him out.  Though I didn’t get to know him that much better (since I was here at school 5 days a week), I did get to know him a bit better.  After living with us, he lived at an assisted-living center, and then semi-independently at my aunt’s house (my mom’s half-sister).  They bought a house with two apartments, and he lived in one of those.

But his love for the warmth of places like Florida still called for him, and so, after about a year, he flew down there to live across the street from my mom’s other half-sister.  I last say him when he drove up with them to attend my great-grandmother’s wake in June.

I have only one thing to say…

RIP Richard Martikainen


Good Day

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I’m tired, and getting this up later than I’d like, so I’ll keep it brief.

Today was a good day.  Got a lot of things done.  Met with my new host for the game show, and we went over it.  Also got the advert for the show over to Student Activities for them to look at it.

Then tonight we had a massive showing for anchor tryouts for my news.  I have some ideas in my mind about who’s going to get it.  It’ll be interesting to see if the advisor and producer are thinking along the same lines as me.  We already know who the live-to-tape director is going to be (there was only one person who tried out), and though he stumbled a little at first, I have confidence he’ll do good.  We all suck at the beginning, but I think he showed tonight he has what it takes.  I look forward to seeing him in action for a real show.

Going home tomorrow, and most likely coming back Saturday night, to hopefully tape this political-satire comedy show coming to school for the news.  If I can’t do it, though, then at least it’ll be good to watch.

All right, that’s it.  I said brief, and I meant it!


The Sniping Dems

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Whatever I was going to write about tonight, forget about that. Tonight, I’ll be live-blogging (well, as live as I can get, looking at my TV) the Democratic debate on MSNBC.

I must say, from just a few minutes of watching it, wow. This is unlike any other debate I’ve ever seen. The others so far (both Dems and Republicans) have been solid, stagnant, and just downright yawn-worthy. This one on the other hand, you have Democrats sniping at Democrats, and a pretty active exchange between the moderator and the candidate. Doesn’t seem as though there are many standing rules in this one.

Unfortunately, I think that Tim Russert (the moderator) is having some trouble controlling the candidates, which might not bode well later in the night, when they’re all feeling a little heated. They’ve already exchanged some pretty heated remarks. For example, Mike Gravel lambasted everybody but Dodd and Biden for voting against a resolution calling the Iranian Republican Guard a terrorist organization, which Gravel is basically calling a prelude to a war with Iran.

Update 9:30pm EDT: Seems they’re a little more controlled on questions about if they’ll back Israel if they’d respond to a threat against their security. Also, I don’t think any of them are going to tonight, or ever, speak out against Israel, at least outright. They’d be dead-in-the water. if they do.

Update 9:32pm EDT: Richardson seems to be using the McCain rhetoric on the immigration issue. Didn’t really answer the question, which was about Sanctuary Cities, though. Good answer on it, Biden. The right answer, IMHO.

Obama didn’t really answer the question.

Don’t do it, Dodd……ooooh…not answering the question.

Kucinich isn’t afraid to answer Russert’s question…not my favorite answer, though.

Hilary kind of skirted around it. Not much different from Obama. Interesting explanation for why you wouldn’t stop Sanctuary Cities, though. She has a point that other illegals might not talk if they’d be afraid of being deported. They might be able to find other people, though? Who knows..

Gravel just went off on a tangent completely. Started talking about education or something. Didn’t even try blaming the feds.

Update 9:47PM: If Hilary’s plan really is what she says (I need to study it more before making a final decision), then kudos to that. It’s what I’ve been talking about here. Not exclusively either solution.

Update: 9:50PM: Edward’s solution sounds idealistic. I’m not sure what a President can do about his cabinet’s or VPs healthcare (probably little to nothing), but Congress isn’t going to vote out its own. Sounds good, but isn’t going to happen.

Update 9:54PM: Russert’s going after the candidate’s past management problems. This might get nasty. Don’t know if I like the accusatory tone he’s taking with them though. He’s supposed to be the moderator, not a judge.

Update 10:00PM: “Do you want your children read a book about same-sex princes?”

Edwards: Hard to tell his real answer. “I want my children to decide.”

Obama: More of less, I think, “Yes.”

Clinton: “Parents should decide. And all of you should vote for the hate crimes bill.”

Up to come…Social Security and Medicare.

Update 10:15PM: I’m sorry, I can’t really pay attention to all this economics talk, lol. Lets see…

Richardson: Don’t remove the cap. And the amendment to the constitution to balance the budget sounds stupid. The document is how to run the government, and to open up rights to people who are being denied them. Not for economic policy. That’s why we have a Congress and a process to create laws. Create a binding law in Congress to do it, not an amendment.

Edward’s argument on people making $50 million paying SS tax on only $97,000, while middle class people paying tax on all or almost all their money has some merit, though. Maybe what’d be better (and I though I heard Kucinich say this), but why not tax on a percentage? How about…just throwing out an arbitrary number…say 50%? That way, people making $20,000 are only paying taxes on 10, and people making $20 million, and paying on $10 million?

Of course, can’t do that, because the Republicans would say it’s redistributing the wealth, and vote against it.

Update 10:22PM: On to smoking now…Ban it in public places?

Hilary: Leave it local…no federal law.

Obama: The locals are doing a good job. If they can’t, then yes on federal.

Biden, Kucinich, Edwards and a couple others: YES!

Drinking age…lower?

Biden: No. Counterproductive, and there’s a problem with women drinking while carrying.

Dodd: No

Richardson: No. Need national commitment to rehabilitation.

Gravel: Yes.

Kucinich: Yes. Lets have confidence in young Americans.

Obama, Clinton, Edwards: No.

Lighting round time….lets see who gets under 30.

Obama: No.

Clinton: No.

Biden: He almost got by the challenge with a two word answer, lol.  And he got under it with a more complete one.

Kucinich: No.

Gravel: Yes.

Dodd: No.  So instead he’s going to go way over.

Obama again: Almost got it.

Richardson: No.  WAY OVER.

Ok, back to issues now.

Obama: We can’t get out magically.  Must do it in a way that makes sense.

And a weaving camera.  As a student of television production, that makes me laugh a little.

Update 10:42PM: I think Gravel is a little idealistic on wind power.  Never going to happen in so few years.

Sorry, kind of ignored the rest of the debate.  Was talking to someone on IM.  I like the last question about the baseball, though.


Dymersion Video: Ahmadinejad Visit

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In this week’s Dymersion Video, I talk about the visit to the U.S. of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and respond to some of the statements he made at Columbia University and the U.N.


Getting Flickr’d Off

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One Texas girl has expectantly found herself as the subject of a marketing campaign…in Australia.

The original photo was taken by what appears to be a friend or staff member of a camp she went to.  Well, apparently Virgin Mobile Australia liked it so much, they took it, and used it for as part of a recent marketing campaign.

What’s the issue?  Well, some people have brought up several supposed problems.  One is copyright infringement.  The other is using the likeness of a person, especially a minor, without a talent release form.  There’s some other smaller, pettier issues, but I’ll go over these two here.

Issue one actually isn’t much of an issue when you look at it.  The photo was licensed under what’s called a Creative Commons license.  Like the copy of Microsoft Windows, Linux, or Max OS on your computer, you have certain things you can and cannot do with it.  Likewise, the photo is the same.

Creative Commons was started several years back as a way to basically promote sharing on the Internet.  Targeted toward creative works – websites, photos, writings, and music, they made several licenses, each of which give a number of combinations of freedoms and restrictions to somebody who might like to use the work.

For example, Dymersion, and most of its associated works, as well as all photos I take (unless they have people in them), are licensed under a Attribution-NoCommerical-ShareAlike Create Commons license.  This means that I retain copyright, but you can use, make derivative works of, distribute, and perform my work as long as you attribute it to me, don’t use it for commercial purposes, and share alike – that is, release it under the exact same license.

So, what’s the issue here in terms of license and copyright?  Apparently none, because from what I’ve read, that particular photo was released under the Attribution license.  In that license, you just have to credit the original creator.  Elsewise, you’re free to use, distribute, modify, make derivative works of, and perform the work, even for commercial purposes.  Worse still, they don’t have to release their derivative work under the same license.  So, the ad is “all rights reserved.”  So, it would appear that from a copyright standpoint, Virgin Mobile is cleared.

Where it gets stickier is whether Virgin needs a talent release form from the girl.  Also, do they need special permission from the parents, given that she’s a minor?  I’m not a lawyer, so I really don’t know the answer to this question.  Some people have said the photo taker is at fault for not getting a talent release when taking the photo.  Personally, I think that argument is bull.  This person didn’t take the photo intending to submit it to use it on a marketing campaign.  He took it, and put it on his Flickr profile.  I see no issue here.

But, does Virgin Mobile need permission to use a likeness?  I’m sure none of this outrage would be existent if there wasn’t a person in the photo.  A picture of some nice mountains?  Sure.  No problem.  But, we have a person here.  So, what is the real requirement?  I don’t know.

So, the family has apparently sued Virgin for damages.  I think this could all have been avoided if Virgin had just asked the photo taker for permission to use the photo.  He probably would have contacted the family of the girl.  Or maybe he would have said no.  Who knows.  As for the lawsuit, I’m getting Virgin will try to get the family to settle.  Pay them off, so the girl has some nice money for college.  Then the issue will be done.

That’s my say on the issue.  What’s yours?


Making a Fan Video

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I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on here before. But, it is true, I’m making a fan video, of the Stargate SG-1 type. More specifically, chronicling the Ori saga as we’ve seen thus far.

I think that the Ori saga has been a good one. If you need a new enemy, where do go but to people who really can claim a godship to millions? Unlike the Goa’uld, they’re not simple technologically superior. The Ori have the cosmic powers to back up their claims.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit of rookie to the Stargate universe, but I think the series was leading up to this. Yes, I know it was to end in both seasons 7 and 8, but I’m glad it didn’t, because this is clearly where it was leading. Unlike some other shows, the writers didn’t sit down and say, “Hey, lets give god-like powers to this group of people.” Ascension, and the abilities associated with it, had already been well established, since at least Season 3. So, it was nothing new, nothing just thrown in to get ratings.

So, I think it is appropriate to try and portray the Ori saga as I see it, because it’s really the climax of the story of the Alterans (both Ancients and Ori). Which is arguably the story of Stargate, SG-1, and Atlantis, since without the Alterans, there would be no Stargate, and thus no show.

Obviously, there won’t be any footage from the upcoming movie, since none has been released yet. It is my hope that by the time I’m done with this longer saga tribute, there will be a trailer (something better than the recent teaser). Then I’ll combine some of this footage and that footage to create my own trailer. Even if there is no official trailer, though, maybe I’ll still create my own trailer. We’ll see.

I’m must say, though, the pre-production process is nothing easy. Not that I though it’d be a walk in the park, given other video projects I’ve done (this will be far easier to do, than say, my independent study from last semester). Mostly, the process is mixing audio, that for which I think I’m nearly done. However, it’s also a process of ripping episodes from my DVD, and there’s a time-consuming process. It takes nearly two hours per episode, although I think that’s because I’m doing it in two passes. Might try for just one. I’ve got three episodes done, but have 12 left! That’s nearly a whole day.

I’m going to do one tonight while I’m sleeping, and maybe I can try for one in the morning during my first class. Then I can do one in the time between the first and second classes, and hopefully get to another during my second class. With any luck, I’ll have most of them done by tomorrow night. Then I can get to the fun part, putting it all together.

I’m not happy with having to use Windows Movie Maker for this, but as I’ve got nothing else, I have no other option. I hope that by the time I get this video done, I’ll have something better. Still deciding on whether to go all out and get Abode Premiere Pro, or stick with Elements until I get a better computer. We shall see.

That’s it for tonight. I was going to do something on Ahmadinejad’s visit, but I’ll wait until he’s actually here and said his bit before I form my response, which will be this week’s episode of Dymersion Video.



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I think it’s safe to say that the club I’m in here at school had the best turnout yesterday that I’ve ever seen for an informational meeting.  I’m going into my fourth year here, and I’ve never seen so many people show up.  We used up all the seats in the studio, some seats from the editing lab, and still some people had to stand.

Now, I know there’s always a paring down in the aftermath of these first meetings.  However, I’m pretty confident that many of these people will stay.  And of them, we seem to have a lot of good talent coming in.  We’ll certainly be able to put a good use to a lot of these people, if they stay, anyway.

It’s already looking to be a good year for TV 22.


Dymersion Video: Following O.J.

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I’m following the O.J. case, like everyone, and noticed something as I was flipping the channels. The cable news networks was literally following him around as he left jail today. I made a quick Dymersion Video entry about it, which is currently processing over @ YouTube, so I’ll add it in to here later.

Update 9/19/07 9:33pm – Here it is:


No Video

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I guess to save myself, the real reason I had a video last Monday was because I’d done it several days before. Tuesday will probably be video day from now on, since I have the most time off.

Today was utterly non-descript. I’m having a problem getting to my first class on Mondays, though I aim to stop that crap. Plagued me last semester, too, and this time, the first class is an hour later! After that, I had work, which went by pretty quickly.

Then my Comm Research class, which I thought was going to be my tough class until I started Macroeconomics. Then I went back to work for another hour to entertain some Freshmen Comm students by talking about the club.

Went back to my room at 4pm, and didn’t do a whole lot until 7pm, though I did properly start my book for Native Americans. Then at 7pm, went there, and only had to stay an hour! Not complaining, but I can tell this lady doesn’t have much to talk about every week. We stayed two hours last week, but like one hour of it was filled with a video. I’m not going to complain, since she says we’ll always be out by 9pm, but I wonder if we’ll have any more one hour, 2.75 hour classes?

I seem to have a motivational problem as this semester has been starting. I know I could easily be done with the book for Native Americans by now, but I’m not. I’ve never been one for textbook reading, but I could at least skim. I do think I’ll become more motivated once TV 22 starts, but for now, I do need to get somewhat in gear. I have a sheet of questions for the first book due in two weeks, so gotta get it done. I don’t want to do it on the last day (we’ll see what I say about this in two weeks).


Give Someone I Want to Win an Emmy!

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Why is everyone I want to win tonight on the Emmys not winning?  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Lost’s Terry O’Quinn (Locke) got one.  Still, I want more of my favorites to win!

I had a nice weekend.  One of my friends turned 20, so I went to her party.  That was good, food and …. Update: The Daily Show won!  Colbert’s character is going to be pissed tomorrow.  Anyway…

Right.  Birthday party.  After hanging around her room for a while, we went to a party off campus.  Prior to my 21st, I only attended few parties, but last night was mostly enjoyable.  Got to meet some cool people, plus found another person in the last week who has IBD.  Funny how I never knew anyone prior to this year who has it (except for one of the people I work for – I mean students), and now I’ve met (well, in this second case, I’d already met him) two people who do.  Not that having IBD is a walk in the park sometimes, but it’s good to know that I’m not alone here at ECSU.

I had a good time last night, though I can’t say the same for after I got back to my dorm, or this morning.  But, all is good now.

Back to the Emmys.


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