Will the streak end?

LBJ32013The Miami Heat defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-95 to extend their winning streak to 24 games. The question is, can the Heat be stopped?

The Heat is the team everyone loves to hate, much like the New England Patriots or Dallas Cowboys. At one point, Miami was down by 27, but turned that around in the second half to secure the win. They weren’t giving up that winning streak, especially to Lebron’s old team.

Lebron James had a triple double in tonight’s game. The numbers speak for themselves. The number one player everyone loves to hate can put up numbers. He is on a roll. Unstoppable.

What team will be the one to end this streak, or will the Heat take it all the way to the finals? The way things are looking, it’s hard not to believe a repeat is in the making.


A Very Short Lesson

short lesson

I came across this very short lesson in psychology and it got me thinking, how valid is psychology? Should we believe everything we read about it? Are we, ourselves, our worst enemies?

When a person laughs excessively at little, dumb things, that person is sad inside. This may be true. Over laughing can be masking something deeper. The smile can be hiding the tears. Who are we to judge if an extremely laughable person is actually struggling inside though?

When a person sleeps a lot, that person is actually lonely. This I can believe. Depressed people tend to sleep more than the hours needed to be productive. So instead of sleeping for 16 hours, wake up after eight, and go for a run. I promise that jog will clear your head and you’ll feel great afterwards.

When a person talks less and fast, he is keeping a secret. So what? Maybe we don’t want everyone to know every little thought crossing our minds. Who ever said that was a crime?

When a person can’t cry, that person is weak. This is the one I found the hardest time believing. Usually people who rarely cry are perceived as strong. It got me thinking, maybe people who rarely cry are weak. The strength behind crying is letting it out. Letting go of what is built up. That takes strength. Holding it in is cowardice.

When a person eats abnormally, tension is built up. Something is going on that that person wishes not to speak about. Food is the therapy. My opinion? Exercise can do the same justice.

When a person cries over little things, that person is softhearted. If you cry at a sad part in a movie, people will call you a softie. When your dog dies and you cry, you’re soft. If you’re a guy who cries when someone dies in a movie, you’re weak. I like this version. Rather than saying someone who cries over small things is weak or mentally unstable, calling him softhearted is reassuring and more accurate.

When someone asks about you even though he is busy, he really loves you. Remember it. Take that away from this. It is the darn truth. Don’t question it. Just let it happen.

Telling True Stories

telling true storiesHow can we make a living as writers? Telling True Stories narrates wholly how we can improve our writing and achieve those goals. The final chapter of the book focuses on how to build a career in magazines and books. When approaching an editor, think of a story that only you can tell. Make sure to follow up. Think small.

Earlier in the book, we learn that it is key to tell a story well enough that your audience wants to finish it to its entirety. I have to admit that I am guilty of often times skimming through a story to the core of it and then putting it down after I got the gist of it. The shorter and more concise a story is, the easier it is to read. A story that has sixteen parts to it is less likely to be finished compared to a story that has three parts to it. So think small and concise. The more detailed and ongoing and repetitive a story seems, the less likely readers are to finish it.

Read the rest of this entry

A Look Into The Life Of Susannah Strumfeld

After watching the film “Almost Famous,” Susannah Strumfeld, who has gone by “Zan” since age 13, knew she wanted to be a journalist. Since a young age, she envisioned herself following around a band, living a rock star lifestyle, and reporting what she saw. Her dreams are halfway there.

Immediately following her graduation from SUNY New Paltz as an English major and journalism and creative writing minor, her pursuit of happiness began. Zan, 22, was hired to work for The Spotlight, a weekly capital region newspaper, as a Colonie reporter. She has been with the paper for three months now and covers the news of Colonie, Menands, Loudonville, and some of Albany county.

“The hardest thing for me is that I have always written arts and features pieces and now I cover news and politics,” Strumfeld says.

She admits she is still adjusting to covering local politics. While at SUNY New Paltz, she worked for the school’s newspaper, The Oracle. She was a staff writer, arts and entertainment editor, features editor, copy editor, and assistant managing editor, a position that was created just for her. Strumfeld says she loves to copy edit, proof read, and find grammatical errors.

“It’s like detective work. I really love doing it,” she says grinning.

Aside from working with The Oracle, Strumfeld also interned at Chronogram Magazine, based in Kingston, for a summer during college. She worked 35 hours a week from June until August. It was a lot of work she admits, but it was an opportunity she could not pass up. She wrote four cover stories, learned how to tell a story in seven to ten words, and how to edit her own work, up to seven times just for a single story.

“It was the best summer of my life,” she says.

Her learning experience at SUNY New Paltz with the newspaper and her internship helped pave the path of where she is today. A typical work day for her includes finding her own stories and going out and making it happen. It varies day to day, which makes it difficult sometimes, Zan admits, but that is the fun in it. She writes six stories a week and has to come in touch with her creative side.

“I’m not doing this for the money,” she says.

She is doing it for her passion for writing. She likes writing because you can try it in any form you want. She has recently turned her writing into song lyrics. Reading and writing, it’s what she loves.

“If you can read and you can write, you can work anywhere,” Zan says.

Test: Code

How We Started
From its mid 1990’s start as a SUNY Albany student’s project to establish a central internet listing of local band web sites, CRUMBS (Capital Region Unofficial Musicians & Band Site) has evolved into the major resource for all capital area musicians and bands. CRUMBS is arguably the longest running independent capital region music industry and scene resource. Through the years, CRUMBS has been guided by less than a handful of dedicated owners whose core mission has been to promote and advocate the areas varied music scene.

The current owner of CRUMBS is Mike Guzzo, a bassist and recording engineer in Watervliet, NY. In 2006, Guzzo acquired then dormant CRUMBS as a graduate project while earning a masters at the College of Saint Rose, and completely overhauled the website.

Radio Show
The new website ushered in a new medium to the launch of the CRUMBS Cafe radio show and podcast. CRUMBS Cafe is the website’s flagship of platform featuring local bands and artists performing (mostly) acoustic versions of their songs. To revive a local tradition, CRUMBS recently put together a varied collection of 12 songs taken from the CRUMBS Cafe radio show, and issued the recordings as “Live From CRUMBS Cafe, Volume 1”. In addition, Guzzo and partner Bill Bucher reintroduced CRUMBS Nite Out, which in its original format was as a monthly open jam session with a featured band. CRUMBS Nite Out became the area’s foremost networking opportunity for local musicians to further their music career.

Media Partners
To broaden the awareness and interest of the local music scene into the area and beyond, Guzzo has also sought to partner CRUMBS with a number of local media entities such as the Albany Times Union newspaper and weblog, public radio stations WAMC 90.3 and WEXT 97.7, performance venues such as WAMC’s performance art studio The Linda and the Robb Alley space along Schenectady’s Proctor’s Theater, and even Apple’s media powerhouse iTunes.

Local Music Blog
Powered by timesunion.com music under the category Arts/Culture, the CRUMBS: Local Music Blog was introduced in September 2007 as a forum for commentary and discussion of the many aspects of the Capital Region music scene. Readers are encouraged to leave comments. Each blog is written from a different perspective on the local music scene. Entries are not edited by the Times Union; the blog authors are solely responsible for content. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some include photographs (photoblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting).

How Innovative Are We Really?

The media coverage of recent Hurricane Sandy and the presidential election has been greater than ever. It seems like every time we turn our heads, there is a new way of covering a story. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube streams all have one thing in common: to connect us all to one another simultaneously.

Twitter: As soon as the power went out, immediately after NYU patients were evacuated from the hospital, when tons of flooding occurred, when nearly half of NYC was destroyed, the world knew. Live updates from Twitter about Hurricane Sandy bombarded the worlds’ news feed. The New York Times especially kept us updated, tweeting stories and letting us know how victims were.

Instagram: Search the hashtag #HurricaneSandy. You can see photos taken during the storm and you can see photos of the aftermath. This tool really captured and shocked many of us. The destruction was devastating.

Hurricane Sandy Instagram Pictures

Facebook: Although Facebook has been dwindling down more recently, many statuses were posted in the eye of the storm. More importantly, local communities and celebrities reached out to the victims afterwards. Charities were formed and donations collected.

Flickr: Like Instagram, Flickr also shared photos of the Frankenstorm. Shocking and eye opening, the photos allowed viewers to better understand the tragic event.

YouTube: Pictures are one thing. Videos though? Extremely effective. We are a visual generation and seeing videos of the storm allows us to better relate. Words are one thing, but people would much rather watch a video. The YouTube videos of Hurricane Sandy form the whole package. They are stories, with pictures, and motions. We come together and understand.

How Do College Students Feel About the Election?

When we think of college students, we think of disengaged party animals, looking for their next sips of alcohol. Contrary to that belief, many are engaged and care about the fate that tomorrow may bring for them. Whoever wins the Presidential Election tomorrow will hold the power of many decisions that will affect college students.

Allison Kartner, 19, of Schenectady plans to vote tomorrow. She has voted before in local elections. Social media has influenced her political views somewhat, but she believes what she believes.

“I see Facebook posts and tweets about the election tomorrow frequently, especially live tweeting during the debates,” she says.

Another student, Melissa Sefershayan, 20, of Staten Island is also politically engaged.

“I am voting for Obama on campus tomorrow,” she shares.

Sefershayan has not previously voted because she was not of age. For this election though, she has followed the campaigns closely. She uses Twitter to follow the New York Times who gives updates about the election. She watched the debates as well and second screened with her friends and family members from home to connect with others. She also check Facebook to see what people thought and how they reacted to what President Obama and Governor Romney were saying. She plans to watch CNN tomorrow to see the outcome and how America reacts.

Brittany Lenotti, 21, of Westchester sent in her absentee ballot today. She had not previously voted because she was not of age in the last presidential election and was not interested in local elections. She watched the debates and thought that they were interesting. The only thing she did not like was the mediators of the debates, because they were not in control in her opinion.

She feels strongly about her vote.

“I want to have control of my body and Obama allows me to do so,” Lenotti says.

Final Presidential Debate

What a few professionals/celebrities had to say about the debate

On the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy‘s address to the nation about the Cuban Missile Crisis, where he announced that nuclear missiles had been found in Cuba and that the United States would regard any launch from Cuba as an attack by the Soviet Union, I turned on my television to watch the final debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.

At the start of the debate, the two candidates addressed the issue of foreign policy. It appeared that Obama knew more about foreign policy than Romney did. Romney commented on the Arab Spring saying, “We can’t kill our way out of this mess.”

However, when Romney said that Russia was our number one geopolitical foe rather than Al Qaida, Obama was sure to call him out on it. He emphasized the fact that Romney was poorly educated on foreign policy. He jokingly told Romney, “The 80’s are calling and want their foreign policies back.” This comment fueled responses on Twitter that Romney was not ready to take on the role as president.

At the beginning of the debate, Obama seemingly knew what he was talking about and hit on good points. Romney appeared to be a bit all over the place. Mid-debate though, Romney started to save himself.

“Our purpose is to make the world more peaceful,” Romney said.

Rather than focusing on foreign policy so much, he began to focus more on our own country.

“We need a strong economy,” Romney said. He addressed that too many Americans are on food stamps and not enough jobs are readily available for people to get.

While Romney got off to a rocky start, he certainly saved himself with his closing statement. His was much more effective and convincing than Obama’s. People are more likely to remember the last thing you said and the last impression you gave.

Live tweeting during the debate

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

Patriots vs. Jets: That was a close one!

Live tweeting during the game

The New England Patriots faced the New York Jetsyesterday at 4:25 p.m. in Foxborough, MA. Most fans (of both teams) expected it to be an easy win for the Pats. The Jets just can’t really seem to get it together this season. However, it was just the opposite.

By the end of the fourth quarter, the Jets led over the Pats by a field goal. However, with a few seconds left Stephen Gostowski managed to kick a field goal and tie the game. This left the two teams forcibly into overtime.

The Patriots received first possession, but couldn’t manage a touchdown. They led the game with a field goal, 29-26. The Jets had a huge opportunity to win the game. All they needed was a touchdown. A field goal would have tied the game, but unfortunately they could not manage either.

The worst of it came when Rob Ninkovich knocked the ball out of Mark Sanchez‘s hand and recovered the fumble. This ended the game and secured a Pats win of 29-26. The Patriots (4-3) moved into first place in their division.

Not contrary to the norm, I watched this game while on Twitter. I always enjoy live tweeting during the game and finding out what others have to say. For my fellow Pats fans, we converse over the game and cheer together. It’s fun to see what celebrities have to say too. I would be lying if I said I also didn’t find it entertaining to read what the haters have to say.

My one friend who is a Jets fan constantly tweeted about how the game appeared to be fixed. Reading things like that puts your view in a different perspective. It makes you think about all aspects of the game.

Live tweeting and checking social networks during an event is beneficial for me. Sure, it can be distracting, because you stand the chance of missing an important play or moment. But for the most part, it is helpful. It places society together at one time. For a moment, a majority of the world is in the same place at the same time.

Obama vs. Romney

The first Presidential Debate triggered controversy over several social networks, especially Twitter. Below, collectively are a bunch of different tweets people sent out during and after. See who was favored on social media outlets!

[View the story “First Presidential Debate” on Storify]

Does social media really matter? Find out here!