Discussion Post: Week 10

Now that Presentation II is behind us and you’ve been able to watch your presentation video, what do you think of your performance? Did it go how you expected, or were there some surprises in your presentation? How will you adapt to the challenges of Presentation III, when you’ll have to pitch yourself to your audience? And what about Presentation IV, which will come immediately afterward?

It’s worth a quick reminder that your group should be well on its way to finishing Presentation IV by this point, as there won’t be much time left after Presentation III concludes to play catch-up. Don’t forget to submit your topic for Presentation IV before the November 20 deadline, and also remember to send your Presentation III topic over Blackboard before the start of this Tuesday’s class.

Going into the third and final presidential debate on Monday, most major polls had Barack Obama and Mitt Romney effectively tied, with the difference between them within the margin of error. With the momentum swinging toward Romney, though, some analysts argued that Obama needed to completely dominate the last debate in order to stem the tide. But despite Obama’s best efforts, such dominance was nowhere to be found as the two candidates fought to a draw over foreign policy.

Well, actually, that’s not quite correct. The two candidates didn’t really fight to a draw. Obama indeed fought throughout the debate as he went on the offensive, trying to slam Romney throughout the affair. But Romney would have none of it, choosing to focus on the similarities between the two candidates’ policies instead of highlighting differences. He passed up countless opportunities to hammer Obama on how he handled foreign policy nightmares like the tragedy in Benghazi, to take a stand against Cuba in order to impress Florida voters, or to simply pressure Obama on the increasingly bloody global climate.

In short, Romney had no interest in clashing with his opponent, so he instead strove for a tie throughout the third debate, avoiding confrontation and merely wearing down his opponent in order to keep the momentum from shifting. It was a stark contrast with the unrelenting aggression in the first two debates, and Romney’s third-debate strategy reminded some viewers of the famous 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. In that bout, Ali feigned a passive approach by absorbing punches on the ropes and clinching with his opponent. Ali hardly bothered to attack his opponent until the end of the fight, at which point he unleashed a ferocious assault to knock out the exhausted Foreman.

Hey, if nothing else, at least we didn’t need an NFL-style referee for round three of the debates.

The post-debate polls were something less than conclusive, with neither candidate decisively winning across all the surveys. While some polls handed Obama victory in the second and third debates, the margin was insufficient to overcome his devastating loss in the first debate. A Rasmussen poll indicated that Romney won the debate series by an 8% margin of likely voters, while Gallup had the margin at only 2% after the last debate.

Either way, Romney has maintained fairly steady advancement in national polls since the first debate, and with some saying that the Emir of Qatar was the biggest winner of debate #3, Obama hardly scored the crushing blow for which he hoped. Nonetheless, some speculate that he may have at least slowed Romney’s momentum enough to swing the pendulum back in his own direction by the time the nation casts its ballots on Nov. 6. And it can’t make the Romney camp happy to see that Obama still leads the electoral map based on the average of state polls, even as he lags by a full percentage point in the average nationwide popular vote.

Regardless of how the election ends, this has been a very unusual campaign cycle. Normally the debates have minimal effect on the outcome of an election, but they could be the deciding factor in the 2012 showdown. Obama has not gained the decisive edge over social media that he enjoyed in his 2008 rout of John McCain, as Romney’s team has taken the online domain much more seriously than Republicans did four years ago. This has forced Obama to grow far more overtly aggressive — pardon the explicit quotation from the sitting president, who in a recent interview with Rolling Stone said that children “look at the other guy and say, ‘Well, that’s a bulls***ter, I can tell.'” The claim prompted Romney’s team to call the incumbent rattled and unpresidential, while Obama’s campaign advisors protested that the word itself shouldn’t serve as a distraction from Obama’s attack on Romney’s track record.

The close election may cause votes for third-party candidates to tilt swing state results, much like Al Gore’s loss in 2000 was attributed, in part, to Ralph Nader’s presence on the ballot. The weather could also play a major role: Hurricane Sandy has forced both sides to cancel events for the sake of safety, and election day storms might deter unenthusiastic voters from the polls.

In any case, with election day just over a week away, time is running out for both candidates to make their final stand. It won’t be long until we know who stands at the head of our nation for the next four years.

Over the past few weeks, several readers have talked about praying that an 82-game NHL season might still happen. Sorry to disappoint you. With lockout negotiations between players and owners stalled once again, the league moved on Friday to cancel all games through November. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman previously said that Thursday was the absolute deadline to reach an agreement in order to preserve a full season. The move also puts the Winter Classic in jeopardy, and the entire season may soon be lost unless a collective bargaining agreement is reached very soon.

With the frustration mounting for players, owners, and fans alike, it’s little surprise to hear high-profile rookies chastise the league for appearing to renege on their contracts, while others say the owners are just trying to satisfy their egos in continuing to resist an agreement. Soon, the fans may have little choice but to follow the EA Sports simulated season instead of the real deal. (Montreal has won all of its first eight games, incidentally.)

In cycling, Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace may be complete, as the much-heralded cancer survivor and competitor was officially stripped of his seven Tour de France titles on Monday. After refusing to continue his fight against long-debated doping allegations earlier this year — it should be noted that he never admitted guilt in declining to continue contesting the claims — Armstrong’s legacy has collapsed around him. In fact, as far as the record books are concerned, Lance Armstrong never existed, and the 1999-2005 races may be left without any official winners. This move comes as little surprise to those who have followed the story for the past few months, but it’s still quite shocking given Armstrong’s stature as a champion and charity figurehead just a few short months ago.

The NFL’s San Diego Chargers are in hot water for the possible illegal use of a sticky substance to make it easier for their receivers to catch passes. Head coach Norv Turner has steadfastly supported his players, vehemently denying that any of them were engaged in such foul play. But if it turns out that the Chargers did indeed try to cheat during their Monday night loss to the Denver Broncos, it could mean major sanctions and even the end of Turner’s tenure as San Diego’s head coach.

Elsewhere, a fan was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after falling from an escalator in the New York Jets’ MetLife Stadium. As far as the media has been informed, David Chupcavich is still hospitalized. Fans initially tweeted that the 42-year-old fell to his death, so it’s a relief to hear that those reports were mistaken. (The same, tragically, could not be said of 25-year-old Jonathon Kelly, who fell to his death after a Houston Texans preseason game in August.)

A Cyprus football (soccer for the American readers) match last Sunday featured its share of injuries, albeit from a very different source. During the game between rivals Anorthosis and Omonia Nicosia, a player for the Anorthosis squad appeared to be injured, so play was halted as he received treatment from medical staff. There was some debate at the time about whether he was feigning injury in order to stall for time. Regardless of that, however, no one expected what happened next: a disgruntled fan lobbed an explosive device at the downed player and the medical staff treating him. The blast sent players and officials flying, and while no one was seriously injured, it left almost everyone nearby covering their ears from the noise. Those closest to the explosion instead clutched their burned faces in pain as they fell to the ground. It remains unclear whether or not the culprit was ever caught.

The fungal meningitis outbreak across the country is getting worse, with 25 dead and well over 300 infected across 28 states. To add insult to injury, the New England Compounding Center (NECC), which made the steroid injections that appear to be the source of this large-scale outbreak, has a long history of mold and bacteria growing on the walls of supposedly sterile drug mixing areas.

According to regulators, the company found dangerously high levels of mold and bacteria in January and did nothing about it. The pharmacy also dodged a proposed reprimand in 2004 after protesting that the punishment — which was for falling short of accepted standards in producing the same steroid that caused this outbreak — would be fatal to their business. Their business has instead been fatal to at least 25 unwitting patients.

On Friday, the FDA released what may be the most terrifying report yet. They tested 50 vials that were among those suspected of causing the outbreak. All 50 were contaminated by fungus or bacteria. But back in August, the NECC internally tested a vial from the same batch and labelled it sterile.

In other medical news, a new study in the journal The Lancet found that, controlling for other factors, women who quit smoking by age 40 live about ten years longer than those who continue for life. (The study’s authors indicated that previous studies wrongly underestimated this effect.) Not that it’s necessarily a good idea to plan for 40 as a stopping point, of course. Even ignoring the difficulty of ending a long-term addiction, those who smoke until 40 lose an average of a year of life compared to non-smokers, while those who quit at 30 tend to drop only a month of their lifespan. Of course, the risk is greatly affected by how much one smokes. As Professor Sir Richard Peto, one of the study’s co-authors, noted, “If women smoke like men, they die like men — but, whether they are men or women, smokers who stop before reaching middle age will on average gain about an extra 10 years of life.”

Maybe the approval process for Apple’s App Store isn’t such a bad thing after all. Last week, researchers from Leibniz University released a report of their studies on 13,500 Android apps. According to the researchers, 1,074 of the apps contained flaws in their SSL implementation, leaving them vulnerable to leaking personal information to attackers. The team further scrutinized 41 vulnerable apps and were ultimately able to gather a great deal of private information from unwitting users, from Facebook logins to American Express credentials. In all, 15% of the apps that used SSL featured these dangerous flaws, including both fake apps and those from legitimate marketplaces.

Let’s switch to a lighter story. If you’re sick of unwanted telemarketers interrupting your day, you’ll love British businessman Richard Herman’s revenge. Herman grew increasingly aggravated over the slew of cold calls he was receiving, and the last straw came when his cell phone repeatedly interrupted a rare quiet afternoon in his garden. So he decided to send an invoice to the most frequent offender, billing them for his time. The case ultimately went to court, and astonishingly, Herman won, compelling the company to pay 195 pounds (roughly $314.57) for making him field their calls. As Herman put it,

We’re all busy rushing around all day long, so when we snatch 4 minutes by ourselves for a bit of peace and quiet, the last thing you want is to be intruded upon by these irrelevant companies

In contrast, you have to feel bad for Mary Archer, a 56-year-old assistant manager at an Arby’s restaurant in Fairborn, Ohio. Around 1:00 a.m. on Friday, Archer was closing the restaurant for the night when a man with a knife confronted her. Thankfully, she managed to escape through the drive-thru window — but stunningly, Arby’s fired her for fleeing the armed robbery. According to the corporation, Archer violated company policy when she left the restaurant, as there must be at least two employees in the store at all times. When Archer left, only one employee was left in the facility, so she broke the rules. Never mind the man with the knife.

Archer’s daughter said that this was the third robbery attempt in the past six months, and that her mother had the misfortune to be on duty every single time. This was evidently the first time she tried to flee the attack. Archer has worked for Arby’s for 23 years, but after this termination, she said that she doesn’t want her job back. It’s hard to blame her.

In contrast, a San Antonio woman had the brilliant idea to fake her own kidnapping in order to avoid going to work. On October 10, police found 48-year-old Sheila Bailey Eubank bound with rope in her car. She claimed that a man had entered her vehicle and held her at knifepoint, forcing her to take him on drug runs. According to Eubank, the man subsequently had her drive the car into a field, then tied her up and left her there. But detectives found a lottery ticket in her purse that was purchased during the period when she was supposedly being held hostage. Surveillance footage at the store where she purchased the ticket confirmed that she was alone, and that the entire abduction was a fabrication. On Wednesday, Eubank was arrested and charged with aggravated perjury.

Science-fiction fans will love this next story. If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own cloaking device, maybe you were just born the wrong species. A team of researchers from Bristol University found that silvery fish like herring, sardines, and sprat have multiple layers of reflective guanine crystals in their skin. Normally, this would polarize reflected light, much like the glare which photographers overcome using special filters. But the researchers discovered that these fish have two different types of guanine crystal in their skin rather than just one. By manipulating both brands of guanine, the fish can avoid polarizing reflected light and create an optical illusion that makes them appear invisible to predators. This finding may inspire better optical devices — or cloaking technologies — in the future.

Finally, we have MIT graduate student Sung Wook Paek who proposed a new method of combating incoming asteroids: paintball. No, I’m not making this up. The basic idea is that, a few decades before the apocalyptic impact, the paintball pellets would cover the asteroid in a blinding white. The impact of the paintballs alone would hardly be enough to prevent disaster, but sunlight bouncing off the asteroid would push it much further off course over time. Using the asteroid Apophis — which is expected to pass close to our planet in both 2029 and 2036 — as an example, it would take five tons of paint to cover the asteroid with a five-micrometer layer of paint. If the asteroid was doused 20 years before a prospective impact, the collective impact of photos slamming against the paint across two decades would be sufficient to push the object off course. Paek’s paper won the 2012 Move an Asteroid Technical Paper Competition, which was sponsored by the United Nations.

There’s no word about whether Paek’s technique would work on a giant ball of garbage, I’m afraid.

Other articles of interest:
User interface guru: With Windows 8, Microsoft throws users “under the bus”
Big surprise: Bill Gates thinks Windows 8 is great
Windows 8, Surface: A Fresh Start, but Buyers May Need Convincing
Apple plays hardball with iPad Mini reveal
‘iPad mini’ event reaffirmed to highlight education uses
Ceglia To Face Facebook Fraud Charges
Ancestry.com to be sold for $1.6 billion
US astronaut sees science breakthrough in space
Jobs That Make the World a Worse Place
Docs call for changes to prevent cheer injuries
Assisted Reproductive Technology Linked to Heart Defect Risk
AP basketball poll: Indiana is preseason No. 1


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38 responses to “Discussion Post: Week 10”

  1. Rachel Moore says :

    I’d prefer not to talk politics, so I’ll skip that part of the post.
    There’s something wrong with the NHL. Yeah, it’s an important issue to resolve, but the fans need something. Pushing the season off just makes them madder. Compromises need to made, otherwise I don’t think the situation ending well for everybody.
    I don’t know what to think about Lance Armstrong. I would like to think he did not use drugs, but all the evidence that seems to be against them has to indicate something. Doesn’t seem like we’ll ever know for sure.
    How could someone throw a bomb at a player who could have been hurt? What was the bomb doing there in the first place? The fan had to have had it for a reason. I’m glad no one was killed, or too seriously hurt, despite it all. I wonder why the fan did it though. If the problem was that the game was stalled, then why throw a bomb that would end the game?
    They better shut down NECC. They brow so many health violations, which resulted in people dying. The company was supposed to make medicine to help heal people, not kill them.
    Paintball an asteroid. That’s a new one. I’m skeptical on how much that would really work, but it’s an interesting theory. I wonder how they would get the paint on the asteroid if it’s that far away. Accuracy would be a problem.

  2. Edward Dang says :

    Move the asteroid with paint? Ok, yeah that sounds alright actually. I’m not totally sure how covered the asteroid would be. I’m imagining us sending a huge amount of paint into space at the thing in gigantic clumps. So naturally some paint would miss and keep flying through space with no force stopping it and maybe one day slap onto an alien’s spaceship and really confuse them for a while. Also seriously, why do you fire a person who’s sat through 2 robberies already on top of working for you for 23 years? That is an entirely new level of messed up.

  3. MeganEvilsizor says :

    Presentation 2 went as I expected. And I don’t know about having pres 4 finishing up right now? I think firing the Arby’s worker was ridiculous. 23 years of service and surviving 2 robberies. She should be made a manager of her own place. As for Lance getting stripped of his titles its ok, everyone will still know he won fair and square. Its just the other people who want to take his titles and call themselves tall who won’t come out well in this situation.

  4. Tim Gleeson says :

    All I have to say about the politics is that I am looking forward to the election being over. I am fairly disgruntled with politics in this country and so are many people in our generation, which is sad because we are more likely to sit back and ignore it since it seems so petty and fake rather than take a stand to fix the problems we have. The Arby’s case highlights typical rules being enforced since they are indeed the rules but without taking into account extenuating circumstances and situations. In nearly all situations except having a man with a knife chasing you I would agree with Arby’s, but come on. The Lance Armstrong case continues to puzzle me, but I lean towards thinking he has to be guilty since even his teammates are standing up against him, its sad for him and the sport of cycling as well as sports in general.

  5. liv4creativity says :

    I am really happy with my Presentation II. I had a lot of fun working on the powerpoint and even more fun making that video with my friends. A lighter subject requires lighter props.

    A little mold never hurt anyone. That was some comic relief concerning the mold and bacteria found in the mixing vats of the NECC. As someone who is allergic to mold, I have great compassion for those who have become sick or dead from the mold. There is no excuse for not maintaining health standards and causing many many people turmoil.

    My first thought when I read about painting the asteroid was that song that Alice from Alice in Wonderland sang when she painted the roses red. ♫”I’m painting the asteroid white! I’m painting the asteroid white!”♫ I like their creative logic behind trying to paint the asteroid and I hope they work on their execution plan some more.

  6. lukeshall says :

    After a week or more of talk about hurricane Sandy, I am excited to see what it will end up doing to the east coast. I have to admit, I am a fan of severe or unique weather and this is no exception. I have been watching the updates on the storm closely and I am ready to see what happens as it makes landfall during ellection week. I think that if this storm sticks around until next tuesday, it may have an impact on the ellection. We can really just wait and see what happens.

  7. Zack Palazzo says :

    Im curious to see what is going to happen to the Chargers. You’d think after seeing the consequences that Lance Armstrong is dealing with for cheating, they wouldnt risk something like that. If these allegations are true, I think that forfeiting any games that they have won would be a fair punishment.

  8. jones326 says :

    I don’t know why people are surprised about the Sand Diego Chargers scandal. Things like this consistently happen in professional sports and have happened all throughout history. If there is a way for a team or player to get an advantage over the opponent they are always going to take it. “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” is the famous quote throughout sports. Whether it’s baseball pitchers putting something on their hands, corked bats, illegal car parts in NASCAR, or sticky gloves this stuff always happens.

    In more sports news I am sad to hear all of the new information about Lance Armstrong. I was originally a supporter of him and even wrote on here my support for him, but the mounting allegations against him make it hard for me to believe him. Looks like I should refer to my above paragraph…

  9. Brock Wolfe says :

    Jobs that make the world a worse place…I don’t really agree with the results of this survey. They must have only given them a few choices to pick from therefore guiding the results. Lawyers, politicians, and lobbyists should have topped the list. I think most everyone would agree with that.
    Sounds like Microsofts attempt at changing the user interface in was that Apple seems to be another failed showing. Looks like they need to rename Windows 8 to Windows 8 Vista… Although I have yet to install and take a look, all feedback I’m getting from seasoned users does not bode well for Microsoft.

  10. tbeach21 says :

    That British guy that got the telemarketers to pay him for his time cracked me up. I like hearing about stuff like that. Kudos to that guy. I think they should have to pay everyone they call for their time. I’d sit and listen to someone on the phone for money.

  11. Garret Howard says :

    It is a little disappointing that Lance Armstrong has officially been stripped of his 7 Tour De France titles considering all that he has done with his livestrong campaign. He was also a very inspiring individual for winning these after surviving cancer. I guess I dont really see how they can take them away now since he never actually was caught doing any illegal substances to improve his performance.

    As for the Chargers coach Norv Turner allowing his receivers to put a sticky substance on there receivers gloves to help them catch the ball that is just ignorant in my opinion. First of all these receivers are professionals and should be able to catch the football anyways and the gloves that are legal are already very sticky so I dont really see why you would risk you and your organizations reputation over something like this.

  12. Garrett Rood says :

    The biggest thing to me is that companies are able to do what the NECC is doing. They cry foul when their company may be hindered a little bit by a safety sanction and now they have infect hundreds of people. This situation is exactly why the government has such strict laws on things and people want to whine and cry that the government is pushing their will on us too much. I am not all for a government take-over of the private sector by any means but there needs to be strict laws on certain things, especially when it comes to things that affect our health and livelyhood.

  13. annadell57 says :

    The fungal meningitis outbreak across the country is frightening! The company should have obviously addressed the high levels of bacteria and mold when found in January. I hope nobody else gets contaminated! This story really scares me because I live in a house that was made in the early 20’s. The entire house is on dirt crawl spaces or basement. I’ve always been paranoid about mold even though we have had the house checked multiple times. Probably just a personal problem for me.

  14. Garey Bogo says :

    I can’t believe the fungal meningitis and the NECC article. Instead of trying to fix the situation it has just blown out of proportion for them, and they are going to suffer more now. This is a major problem, and I can’t see how they could try to overlook it with 300 sick and 25 dead.
    As for the article about blasting the meteorite with paint, I feel there is a lot cheaper way and safer way then blasting paint at it. I also believe that the paint idea is interesting to see if it can be offset by the sun in another direction.

    • nlosande says :

      I understand that government control agencies may not be popular with all their testing of everything from drugs, to food, to children’s toys. However, the meningitis outbreak is a prime example of why we need organizations like the FDA. Of course, the problem I see is that a company that has had a history of violations was simply allowed to continue on without much further scrutiny so I believe that we need to increase their punitive abilities.

  15. Daniel Spivey says :

    As far as Presentation II after watching it I feel as though I improved from the first presentation but there are still some things that I need to work on. Sad to hear about Lance Armstrong. He has already been though so much in his life already and to have everything stripped is really unfair. I am sure that other cyclist were doing the same thing and the man had cancer for petes sake. In other new the east coast is preparing to Hurricane Sandy. I really hope that everyone over there stays safe. Glad I have never had to deal with a hurricane.

  16. colinbyram says :

    I really hope that this natural disaster, Sandy, doesn’t derail the election too much because a lot is on the line for it to suffer from the aftermath. I think Romney went for the more presidential approach on the third debate to show voters he has the composure to lead the nation.

    As for the Lance Armstrong scandal I feel that they have taken it too far and need to lay off the harsh allegations against Lance and they need to lay off the matter. I feel that the foundation “livestrong” will ultimately suffer from this scandal as well and there is no reason a cause for cancer should see a decrease in support.

  17. kearstenolson says :

    It’s pretty hard to believe that Arby’s would favor one of their policies over the safety of their employees. I would find it pretty hard to go back even if they did rehire me, especially if armed robberies happened that frequently and they were willing to so quickly disregard all those years of service for them.

    I think the idea about the paintball paint possibly moving an asteroid off course is genius. It proves that sometimes we don’t need to come up with an entirely new idea for a solution but rather look in other places and think outside the box.

    • APhelps says :

      To piggyback on this, I completely agree about the absurd nature of Arby’s position. This almost reminds of the similar situation this summer where a lifeguard in south Florida was fired after saving the life of a drowning swimmer simply because he went out of his duty area. Luckily the company offered him his position back, which he respectfully declined much like the lady in your Arby’s story. I mean, to be treated like that I wouldnt want to go back either.

      This really just brings up an ever-present conflict in today’s business world. The drive in which everything resorts back to money is insane. Where the company would expect you to not accomplish the ethical task, or submit yourself to danger simply by following company policy. Honestly, I do not understand how issues like this are not stopped by PR before they go public. They should at LEAST have the hindsight to anticipate this issues.

  18. Eric P says :

    With the overabundance of name-calling and political posturing in the presidential campaign, the debates have taken on a new level of importance. All but the most committed ideologues know better than to listen to attack ads spewed out by political action committees, and instead have turned to the debates as the last vestige of (semi) reasoned political discourse. Romney used this to his advantage in the first debate, where Obama could not hide behind the veil of negative ads. In the second and third debates however, Obama better demonstrated his gift for public speaking and appealing to voter emotion, at least drawing even and by some accounts winning. I had anticipated a Reagan-style, “are you better off than you were four years ago” conclusion from Romney, but he played it safe, trying to appear above the fray. I don’t know if this will be good enough to give him a real chance at winning, but it does make some strategic sense.

  19. tbanas says :

    Is it november 6th yet? I like having political discussion, but this election has me so worn out on politics that an astrophysics discussion would be more enjoyable. I already voted so now I really am trying to tune out all the garbage that’s sewing from the radio or tv. What makes it worse is that I don’t have any hockey to watch thanks to the coaches and players. We’re talking about how to divide A LOT of money. It seems so snobbish and makes the whole NHL look bad. #firstworldproblems

  20. kcorcimi says :

    I feel bad for the woman who lost her job at Arby’s. I’m really surprised that the company wasn’t more understanding, not only because of the situation but also because she had been working there for 23 years. You know that they have surveillance cameras in there, so I wonder if they looked at those. Insurance would pay for any damages done to the building or any money lost so I don’t blame her for fleeing. I’d definitely save my own life before thinking of company policy. At least she wasn’t just trying to avoid work that the other lady in San Antonio.

  21. mmccune91 says :

    Soccer fans are some of the most fanatical fans out there. This is the second time in about a month that someone has thrown an explosive on the field. It happened not to long ago at an Iranian soccer game. Granted that is Iran, but still people need to realize that it is just a game, and it is not something to try and kill people over. The players can just as easily say that they are done playing because they fear for their safety. I just don’t understand peoples’ thinking sometimes. Luckily we don’t have fans like that in the US.

  22. Alex Johnson says :

    Presentation II could have gone better for me, but it was an awesome project in terms of experience. I’m sure it’s not the last time I’ll present technical information in front of an audience. The bit about deflecting asteroids with paintballs was very interesting. I actually read a full article on it not too long ago. Apparently asteroids are near #1 on the list of things that could eventually destroy humanity, and scientists have put a lot of effort into crafting ways to deflect/destroy them (not to mention the movie Armageddon). Other methods include laser deflection as well as attached propulsion devices similar to rocket engines.

  23. Tyler Durham says :

    I cannot believe the straight spiral that Lance Armstrong has had in the world of sports. People were always curious whether he doped or not, now he didw ithout a doubt. But, I don’t think they need to take away all those titles he won. He stated that the top 20 finishers in most years he wont the Tour de France were also doping. That means it was still an even field and the competition was greater than ever. Like I stated before, steroids should be legal for athletes. Steriods clearly make athletes do amazing feats, why not allow the athletes to use these substances to their advantage. It will make sports have a lot of crazy records broken, but it was lead to more entertaining sports. Fans of whatever sport it be will enjoy watching more.

  24. Ashlynn Johnson says :

    That’s terrible about the women at Arby’s, but it makes me wonder if Arby’s really did fire her for fleeing or if they had another reason but just needed an excuse. Either way, the “reason” they fired her is ridicuolous. I’m sure the women didn’t sign a paper saying she’d risk her life for them, but I’m sure it did say she would comply to a robbers demands and not risk her life. Either way, what do you expect from a big company?

    That’s so cool about the fish! To think we can actually have cloaking technology in the future! I hope I live long enough for that, gotta quit smoking before I’m 40. 😛

  25. Blake Neata says :

    Alot of sports in this weeks blog. For starters, I think it is distasteful that Lance Armstrong did what he did. He has been a great figure to look up to and strive to be for probably millions of sports fans and cancer patients alike. He deserves to have his achievements taken away from him. This leads on to the next article I read about the Chargers trying to cheat as well. It is ridiculous that professional wide receivers think that they need to try and make their gloves have even more stick than before. The technology for receivers gloves has come a long way since the beginning of the game and if they feel they still can’t catch well enough then I suggest spending their time practicing more instead of finding ways to cheat.

  26. Daniel Hudspeth says :

    I can agree mmccune91 report that this is the second incident in which an explosive has been thrown on a soccer field recently, and it’s getting ridiculous. Not only have fans been using explosives, but fans have also been rushing the fields, and there was even an incident in which a fan punched a rival goalkeeper. Soccer fields around the world need to increase the security measures to protect the players, officials, and other fans. Unfortunately, that is going to make attending a soccer game a hassle. I would hate to see the security become what it is like with airport security, but I would sure hate to see someone get really hurt or possibly killed. Everyone needs to realize that soccer is just a game.

  27. Jae Hyeon Joo says :

    Well, I watched my presentation 2 video.
    I need to improve lots of thing. One thing I can say is the volume of my voice.
    I thought the volume of my voice is loud enough to hear at the end of class room. However, the truth is not. I should have spoken louder than this.
    During the position, I should have moved around to get more attention from audiences. There are tons of things to be fixed. People cannot change oneself one at a time. It will be getting better and better step by step.
    This is great course to learn how I can present in front of audiences.

  28. jetblueberry says :

    “The weather could also play a major role: Hurricane Sandy has forced both sides to cancel events for the sake of safety, and election day storms might deter unenthusiastic voters from the polls.”

    I completely agree with this statement and do believe that it will hurt the Democratic party to an extent because of the fact that the area affected by storm normally goes blue around election time. While I don’t think an election should be postponed because of something like this, I can’t help but think that this answers prayers from the opposition which is completely disgusting in the fact that they are reveling in a joy that comes at the expense of others (victims of the hurricane).

    If you have the time, I recommend reading this as I find it very “funny” that he hosted this event in Ohio…. an unaffected state.(http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/10/31/1115011/romney-campaign-staged-donations-in-storm-relief-event/?mobile=nc)

  29. jteagard says :

    I had already heard about the soccer player and all that I can say is wow. It is terrifying that someone can just come into a stadium and have an explosive device with them. I don’t know about you, but that scares me. It is already pretty difficult to get that many people into an arena, how would things be if they had to go through an extra security check. But that was before I would think someone would bring a bomb inside. This is terrifying not only for the players, but for fans as well. Who is to say that any of them are safe while watching the game. This world we live in is simply scary.

  30. Brandon Vath says :

    I do feel quite sympathetic for Mary Archer and her misfortunes while working at Arby’s. For her to be fired for fleeing a robber with a knife is quite absurd; especially since she had been working there for 23 years. As Tim mentioned previously, it is a perfect example how company policy does not always agree with the action that seems appropriate. I actual live fairly close to this town, and it is disappointing to hear she was fired under these conditions. Although I think it might be a sign that it is time for her to move on seeing as that was the third robbery attempt in the past six months that she had been involved in.

  31. Rachel Dockter says :

    I’m actually pretty glad Presentation II is over with. I don’t think I did a very good job with it…I found it kind of difficult watching my video, because I kept wanting to cringe. Ah, well.

    The Arby’s story is actually pretty scary to me, because I know where Fairborn is, and have gone shopping there several times (though I can’t recall ever going to the Arby’s there). It’s a lot more crushing when you realize how close to home some crimes can be. More relevantly, I feel like Mary Archer’s subsequent job termination was not fair in the slightest, and being fired for fleeing an armed robber (not to mention the third such armed robber!) is frankly ridiculous. Some company policy should definitely be reconsidered depending on the situation.

  32. Zach Gerbner says :

    I personally am very excited for the election to be over. While I enjoyed the debates and deciding who to vote for, it is all past me, and I am ready to see who wins. I think that while Romney did have a very decisive victory in the first debate, Obama did well enough in the final two to stop Romney’s momentum, and keep the race close. Looking at Real Clear Politics now, Obama has at least a 2 point advantage in Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and Wisconsin. All crucial battle ground states. While I rather be in Obama’s position, I certainly would not say Romney is down and out. He is still a very formidable candidate and has a great chance to pull out a victory Tuesday. We only have 48 more hours till election day, and hopefully by Wednesday morning we will have a winner!

  33. Paul Laurinaitis says :

    I would like to comment regarding presentation 2. I am glad that the presentatinos are over and we are able to watch the videos to see what we can improve upon. Overall i thought my performance was good as was everyone elses. I think there are areas we can all impove upon and learn better techniques. However, i believe everyone did a good job and certainly improved from presentation 1. I cant wati to see how presenetation 3 turns out and see how much everybody improved even more.

  34. mbruhn says :

    I’m not quite sure why a woman would want to fake her own kidnapping. Did she just want attention or did she want to make it seem like she was forced to commit a crime that she had previously committed. I guess some people just want their 15 seconds of fame. I would also like to know how tight those knots she tied were. If she did them herself, it seems the would be pretty loose.

  35. Junter says :

    I’m shocked that Arbys would fire a person who was just trying to keep themselves safe. Obviously i understand company polices but in extreme circumstances i feel these should be thrown out the window. (No pun intended). As for the story of the girl trying to fake her own abduction i feel this is just another example of stupid people trying to commit stupid crimes. I mean if this girl is dumb enough to think this would actually work then she definitely is dumb enough to miss the plan up somehow. I also would like to say i am happy that this election is coming to a close, i think elections just bring out the nastiness in people and everyone is always at each other’s throats during these times.

  36. bwulf24 says :

    I personally enjoyed the story about the man who billed the telemarketers. Man, they are the most annoying people to deal with. It used to be they could only call house phones and since none of us have those any more that’s not a big deal however I do get the occasional call on my cell phone from them and I have no idea how they get my number. I remember when I was a kid a telemarketer called my grandparents house during thanksgiving dinner and my grandpa answered, now my grandpa was a bit of a grouch anyway, so when he picked up the phone he just said “I can’t talk right now, I’m having a heart attack”. This did not have the desired result of the guy saying oh sorry and hanging up, instead he went into life saver mode and tried to tell my grandpa what he should do and almost called an ambulance. While telemarketers are really really annoying, I know its just a person doing there job so I try not to be too rude when they call but I’m glad at least one company had to pay up.