Discussion Post: Week 15

We’re just about done! We’re through half of Presentation IV, and after that, only the web portfolio remains. What did you think about our first few teams on Thursday? How did the presentations go, and what about the added challenge of question-and-answer sessions? What did you discover as those proposals were being delivered?

Please do not forget to send the URL and the rationale for your web portfolio via Blackboard mail no later than this Thursday. We’ve been working on this all semester, but if it’s late, I won’t even be able to grade it. Don’t let that happen — submit it early, not late.

Alright, since we’re winding down, how about we shake things up a bit this week? Let’s start with some sports news for a change.

College football’s regular season came to an end yesterday, with the Alabama Crimson Tide edging out the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship, 32-28, to win a national title shot against the undefeated Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish boast the second-stingiest defense in college football, with approximately 10.33 points allowed per game. Only Alabama itself allows fewer points per game: 10.31.

In hockey, federal mediators have failed to resolve the stalemate in the NHL’s labor talks, leaving the entire season’s cancellation feeling more likely by the day, while my St. Louis Blues’ inability to even win a virtual hockey game grows just as paramount. (Thanks, EA Sports.)

But the biggest athletic headline of the week was a shocker. Yesterday, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, whose team lost its eighth straight game last week to fall to 1-10 on the year, shot and killed his girlfriend before driving to Arrowhead Stadium and committing suicide in front of his coach and general manager.

Police have not released a motive for the murder-suicide, but they said that the couple got into an argument around 7:00 a.m. At 7:50, Belcher shot his girlfriend, Kasandra M. Perkins, multiple times; she was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors pronounced her dead. The couple’s three-month-old daughter evidently saw her mother being killed, and she was interviewed by police yesterday, as was Perkins’ mother, who also witnessed the shooting.

Belcher, in the meantime, stood in the parking lot of his team’s practice facility, thanked Kansas City’s general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel for their support during his four years wearing a Chiefs uniform, and when police arrived at the scene, shot himself.

The news stunned those who didn’t know about Belcher’s personal issues. The linebacker was described as a man who practiced hard and played hard, who never missed a game, and who even made multiple charity appearances.

At present, the Chiefs’ game this afternoon against the Carolina Panthers is set to proceed as scheduled, as the league advised Carolina to go ahead and travel to Kansas City pending further notice.

In somewhat lighter football news, two Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders had their heads shaved during the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s 20-13 win over the Buffalo Bills.

There's probably a one-liner for this, but is it really necessary?

Cheerleaders Megan M. and Crystal Ann made the decision to shave their heads after seeing a number of Colts players do so in honor of head coach Chuck Pagano, who lost his hair from chemotherapy and radiation treatment for leukemia. When the team’s mascot, “Blue,” tweeted to ask the cheerleaders if they would shave their heads if he raised $10,000 for leukemia research, Megan immediately rose to the challenge, kicking off #OperationShaveMegansHead.

Two weeks and $22,670 later, as Megan M. was about to face her fate alone, Crystal Ann decided to join her under the razor. More than 60,000 spectators rewarded the pair with roaring applause, yet Megan M. said that the real encouragement should be directed to those who are fighting to survive: “I just shaved my head. These people are going through the battle for their life and they’re really the ones who deserve all the praise.”

While some were watching cheerleaders getting shaved, others paid closer attention to the climbing Powerball jackpot, which leapt to a record $587.5 million before Wednesday night’s drawing. It’s also the second-largest lottery jackpot of any kind in U.S. history. Two winning tickets were confirmed to have been sold, with one each in Arizona and Missouri.

Nolan Daniels proclaimed his big win on Facebook, showing off a picture of himself grinning while flashing his ticket with the winning numbers. To make matters more interesting, he promised to share $1 million of his winnings with one random Facebook user who “shared” his photo with others. As he put it,

Looks like I won’t be going to work EVER!!!! Share this photo and I will give a random person 1 million dollars!

That set off a torrent of activity revolving around Daniels’ account, averaging 1,000 shares a minute.

The face of a multi-millionaire.

The only problem: Daniels’ ticket was an obvious fake. The pixelation around portions of the ticket (like the winning numbers) made it obvious enough. And as a number of Facebook users pointed out, the Photoshopped ticket had the wrong price, and the winning numbers weren’t even listed in ascending order, as they would be on a real ticket.

Yet almost two million people bought the lie — at the time of this writing, the only photo associated with Nolan Daniels’ Facebook account has 1,856,588 shares. (It also has over 23,000 likes and 11,000 comments, with one of the most recent commenters simply scolding the “1,856,460 idiots.” Others continue to congratulate Daniels for the false win.)

One analyst roughly split the thousands of comments into three groups: the critics who simply sit back and blast Daniels and those who want his money, the beggars and liars pleading for their take, and the “Naive, sweet, innocent, insane, nice folks” who wished him all the best with his newfound wealth.

What does this say about the state of the average Facebook user, or of the world as a whole? Good question. Maybe it’s pitiful to see so many people trying to take advantage of others. Perhaps it’s sad to watch so many people get fooled by such an obvious ruse. Or maybe Daniels’ trick is actually a new type of interactive art form that gets the whole world involved in the show. Well, like so many other things in life, it’s at least interesting to watch the chaos unfold, if nothing else.

Here are three words that you never want to see associated with your car: “spontaneous engine combustion.” But that’s the story behind Ford’s recall of the 2013 Fusion and Escape, whose engines are prone to bursting into flame without warning. The overheating issue that causes this combustion is not the first Ford failure this year; most recently, the company recalled about 6,100 Escape crossovers in September due to coolant leaks.

This particular recall is for the Fusion SEL and SE models with a 1.6 liter engine as well as the Escape SEL and SE models; other models are not included in the recall notice. That amounts to roughly 73,000 Escapes and 16,000 Fusions that need to stay in park. While there is not yet a repair option in place, Ford recommends that owners get a temporary replacement vehicle from their dealers.

If you need to see if your vehicle has been recalled, check the 17-character VIN number. If the eighth character is an R (on the Fusion) or an X (on the Escape), your next trip should be to the local dealership.

Thankfully, some machines work a bit better than the Fusion and Escape. Take the new robots developed at MIT, for instance. The researchers were interested in designing robots that could perform a wide range of different tasks, so they modeled their new device out of protein chains, which can “fold” themselves into exceedingly complex shapes. In the end, they created a caterpillar-sized robot that can change itself into a wide range of different physical forms.

That’s right. This robot transforms.

The concept of shape-shifting robots is nothing new, of course, but this is the first time that it’s been successfully implemented. While the researchers described it as the Swiss army knife of robots, that probably downplays the significance of an innovation which foretells robots that fold themselves into virtually any shape imaginable. All-purpose robots that do anything we could ask are actually on the horizon, and they could revolutionize the entire realm of technology in the not-so-distant future.

The MIT robot was a huge success on a number of levels, with the key bit of genius being motors that move at certain angles and hold their position — even with the power switched off. Sure, it’s not like we’ll all own personal Transformers next week, but it’s still exciting to realize that we’re on the cusp of moving beyond the era of fixed-function robots.

In medical news, the fungal meningitis outbreak that we’ve been discussing for weeks is still spreading, with at least three dozen deaths now reported across the U.S., but the lawsuits against the New England Compounding Center (NECC) are already moving forward.

Lawyers for the NECC have pushed to consolidate the lawsuits into a single federal case over which they want a Boston judge to preside. At present, there are already 70 federal lawsuits and dozens more in various local courts. The compounding firm’s lawyers say that they expect the total number of suits to exceed 400.

In the meantime, federal prosecutors appear to be setting up a criminal case against the company and its leaders, as they have set up a grand jury probe of the pharmacy. The grand jury has filed a number of subpoenas for people who worked at the NECC, and at least one employee from a related company, Medical Sales Management of Framingham, has also been called to testify. At least some of these people are expected to testify in a Boston court next week.

But that’s no longer the only major medication catastrophe. Indian drug giant Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited, the nation’s largest drug maker by sales, is recalling generic batches of the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor from the U.S. market and halting further production.

Why? Because apparently it’s bad to have glass in your pills.

In a development that reminds some of the fake Shards o’ Glass Freeze Pops commercials, Ranbaxy is shutting down all production while it probes the “possible” presence of “very small glass particles similar to the size of a grain of sand” in its products, according to a company statement on Saturday. This comes after the company first issued a voluntary recall of existing prescriptions on November 9; evidently, the problem was a little more widespread than the one-time incident that the company first suspected.

It’s noteworthy that Ranbaxy engaged in a lengthy battle with U.S. regulators earlier this year over requests for tighter quality control checks. The company also faced allegations that it submitted false data in drug applications to the FDA.

Ranbaxy is responsible for producing about one-third of all generic Lipitor versions. The FDA says it has yet to receive any reports of patients being harmed by the glass particulates, but anyone who is currently taking a generic version of Lipitor are advised to consult with their pharmacist to see whether it came from Ranbaxy, and if so, to cease taking it and to talk with a doctor about getting an alternative supply.

In less depressing health news, researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have been working on reliable ways to use modern medicine to extend the natural lifespan. Past research has used gene therapy on embryonic mice, but that approach required regular drug treatments in order to keep the mice healthy after the fact. The CNIO’s new study, however, uses an approach called telomerase gene therapy which is instead applied to adult mice. Not only were the researchers able to increase the lives of the mice in question by 24%, but the life extension required only a single treatment.

Some, like noted futurist Ray Kurzweil, have speculated that near-immortality may be possible in the near future through such treatments. The researchers themselves don’t believe that we’re quite so close to that outcome, but they are hoping that telomerase gene therapy might delay age-related illnesses like osteoporosis and pulmonary fibrosis, both in animals and in humans.

Let’s close with a little toilet art. No, not toilet humor — even if a recent New Mexico University graduate’s toilet paper apology for a college prank qualifies. I mean toilet art. That’s the newest contribution of Suwon, a small South Korean town which features the world’s first toilet park.

You read that right.

You see, Suwon once had Sim Jae-duck, whom some called “Mr. Toilet” before his passing in 2009, as its mayor. According to lore, Sim was born in his grandmother’s outhouse, and he went on to spread the word about the benefits of hygienic toilets around the globe through the organization he founded, the World Toilet Association. As Sim was described by Lee Yeun-sook, manager of planning at the Mr. Toilet Sim Jae-duck Foundation,

He is a man whose life literally began in a toilet and ended at a commode-shaped house.

Sim’s biggest claim to fame was his work provided restrooms to fans attending the 2002 World Cup hosted by Seoul, which is about 29 miles north of Suwon. As a tribute to the legend, Sim’s old hometown developed the free Toilet Culture Park, which features such wonders as traditional chamber pots serving as benches and a replica of The Thinker sitting astride a receptacle.

In fairness, South Korea has seen the condition of its toilets improve by leaps and bounds in the span of a generation, as the nation has grown from near-poverty to veritable riches. As one middle-aged tourist said, “For our generation, a toilet was a very dirty and smelly place where you never wanted to go. But now it is totally different.”

This is hardly the last movement (no pun intended) toward praising toilets, either. The Toilet Culture Park has attracted roughly 40,000 visitors since it opened in July, so now the town is planning to build a second toilet-themed center near the first. They hope to have it finished by 2014. Clearly, we should all be thankful.

Other articles of interest:
Egyptians fear decades of Muslim Brotherhood rule, warn Morsi is no friend to US
Egypt’s president sets date for constitution vote
Syria crisis: Damascus internet back after blackout
North Korea plans long-range rocket launch
Mexico swears in president, putting old ruling party back in power amid violent protests
Rice in fight for political future
Supreme Court to decide if human genes patentable
1928 Mickey Mouse poster sells for $101K
Original Batmobile to be auctioned
Fake plane crash fools TV station
5 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8
Baylor ends No. 8 Kentucky’s 55-game home winning streak

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39 responses to “Discussion Post: Week 15”

  1. annadell57 says :

    That is so great that the two Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders shaved their head to support their coach and other cancer fighters. A lot of people get caught up with the idea of cheerleader’s looks and sometimes forget their priorities. I think those cheerleaders are great role models and we can all learn something from them.

    • brianbritt says :

      I’m with you, Anna. The commentators were even talking about the “appearances” issue, how it’s one thing for football players to shave their heads, but quite another for cheerleaders, whose physical appearance is almost always the focus, to follow suit. Given the perceived job description next to “NFL cheerleader,” their demonstration definitely took some courage. Hopefully the publicity that they generated will pay off in donations to lifesaving research.

  2. nlosande says :

    I don’t understand all the outrage directed towards Daniels. So he faked a picture on his facebook page (like that has never been done before), and tricked millions of people into sharing his post? Oh the humanity! How are we ever going to get over this? Well, actually it’s very simple… the bottom line is that he didn’t win and therefore does not get millions of dollars.

  3. Jhellman says :

    Rock on for those cheerleaders, it’s the first time I’ve felt good about hearing something about sports. But that’s probably just me. That’s pretty cool to think of the Daniel’s controversial fake lotto ticket as an art form. Like the only “goal” of it is to independently reach as many views as possible. I like that. I’ve had a couple of tumblr posts get over five thousand likes/reblogs so I see those numbers and get me to think like that. So, rock on, fake lotto ticket guy.

  4. Garey Bogo says :

    As for the lottery story, I think too many people are not realizing the scams and fake articles on facebook. Personally I don’t take anything seriously written on facebook, unless I hear it from a legit source such as the news. Just recently a number of people thought that posting a certain statement on their wall, would supposedly copyright their page from facebook. I feel people really have to look into what they are doing, and not just listen to other users that have been fooled as well.

  5. Blake Neata says :

    The first segment I read was about the colts cheerleaders who shaved there heads at the game. I saw it happen on tv over that weekend. I thought it was great that there was so much money raised for this cause but I did feel that it was a bit excessive. I also read the article about the powerball ticket. I still cant believe that the dollar amount is so high. It is crazy to see how many people were in lines at the gas station to try to be the big winner.

  6. Daniel Spivey says :

    I thought that the first presentations went well on thursday. I felt like all of the groups had very helpful suggestions that would benefit the community. The information was also very well laid out. I woke up to the news of the chiefs player on saturday morning and was absolutely shocked. Its incredible how you would think someone that is living their dream could be so unhappy or angry. So sad for the sport and the organization.
    I will also admit that I got caught up in the powerball hype. i went and bought a ticket. I had 3 of the numbers in the correct position but that was it. I was so ready to contemplate what my life would be like with that much money. My imagination was running wild.

  7. Craig (@ctlocker) says :

    Real life transformers, my childhood dream is coming true! All kidding aside this is quite an amazing innovation. Looking at biology for inspiration is not a new concept in the mechanical world, but to think of it in the way they did here with strings of protein is quite ingenious. It also tells the tale of how one idea can lead to another; MIT had to design several aspects which had been quite marvelous in their own right. As for the video, in the technical speaking world, I thought he did a great job of explaining complex ideas and relating them in a manner that almost anyone could understand. Overall, the future of technology is very excited; I can’t wait to see the next installment of these real life transformers.

  8. tbanas says :

    Ford is probably wishing they stayed in bed this year. I have a friend that had an older fusion and he was having all kinds of problems with it, but I have another friend that has the same fusion and it’s perfectly fine. Seems like ford can’t find consistency in their products which is sad because I like ford as a company.

  9. Tim Gleeson says :

    The Kansas City story is really sad. You have to wonder what drives a person to do such a thing, especially in the fashion it was done. The article about toilets (that sounds odd itself) was rather extraordinary as well, I would have never imagined such a thing. The cause was good. Additionally, I am amused that my home state made news for a story about toilet paper, there really are more interesting things than that in New Mexico.

  10. Edward Dang says :

    That dude tricking everyone on facebook is sort of like that other person in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory who pretended to have a golden ticket. Um, aside from that this one not as much a jerk though. In other news, I don’t know how comfortable I am with machines that move with the power off. I know about the convenience but frankly the only weapon we have against the coming overlords is that they need power and if we keep going in this directions we’ll lose even that tactical option. Just saying, digging ourselves deeper like this.

  11. Brock Wolfe says :

    Will Windoze save Microsoft? Does Microsoft really need saving is the real question? I think it’s marketshare has taken a hit due to an bad OS release (Vista) and Apples popularity, but I think it is still doing reasonability fair. Another bad OS could put them in the doghouse with consumers but I think is reputation has faired well over the years. From an IT stand point, change can be good and bad. It does up the workload due to reconfigurations but better security could help alleviate the added workload. I personally have not installed it although I have messed around with it. The biggest thing is interface change or more how it looks and feels. This could cool the market on the elder population or the computer illiterate due to another change on something they barely grasp. Either way, Microsoft could have it’s work cut out for itself and it is of it’s own making.

  12. Tyler Durham says :

    The biggest news to me this week has to be about the Chiefs player who committed the murder, suicide. He seemed like a very good person who worked hard and didn’t seem like a bad person at all. There must of been something pretty terrible that has been building up inside of him if he would want to take the lives of a 3-month old’s parents. But still, the oddest thing to me is that he killed himself in front of the Cheif’s facilities. That makes me think that he had something bad going with the Cheifs that would make him want to do that. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family though and especially their little girl.

  13. Paul Laurinaitis says :

    I would like to comment regarding presentation 4. I think the group that went on Thursday along with our group did a great job. The presentations felt right and were done really well. The Q and A sessions were handled very well and felt natural. Both groups had great presentations and showed improvement throughout the semester. Overall i think everyone did a great job.

  14. kcorcimi says :

    The news about the Chief’s football player is very sad. I always hate domestic violence stories like this. It’s especially sad that they had a child who not only witnessed their mom getting killed, but now has to live her parents. Luckily she’s only 3 months old so she won’t remember what she saw, but that doesn’t take away from how sad it is. It then gets very weird that he would go to the stadium and kill himself. I wonder what his thought process was there. Maybe he just killed himself there so his coaches wouldn’t have time to call the police and the police catch him once he had left and talk him out of it? I guess we will never know..

  15. colinbyram says :

    I am glad to have all my presenting for the semester out of the way and even more excited to finish up my web portfolio. This semester has been a big learning experience for me and I have enjoyed almost every part of COM315. As for the sports new I am excited to see Alabama face off with the Irish. Although i’m from Indiana I think I’m pulling for Alabama on this one seeing as most of my family lives there and they are just a better football program. The new of the Kansas city player is tragic and something you never like to see. However, this may even add to the new research into possible brain issues and concerns in this high contact sport. The MIT robots are so advance in what they are trying to do its already over my head. I know they are in the beginning stages of production but i’m still unsure what they are trying to even do.

  16. Cameron Nunan says :

    So someone has been made extremely rich from the power ball? Or at least someone pretended to. The guy who pranked facebook with his fake ticket made me laugh. But was the prank so obviously faked that our very own Brian must question the mental state of the average facebook user? First off, how many people actually know what the standard power ball ticket looks like? Would you know the difference? For the pixilation in certain areas, I am going to assume that that wasn’t discovered until the picture began to circulate out of his friends list. That is only because strangers on the internet are also the biggest speculators due to the massive amounts of trolls. And for the thousands of ignorant commenters that were unaware of the previous revelation, can only see like 5 comments at a time unless you hit “view all,” and who wants to view all 11,000 comments? So to sum it up: We have all seen people receive fake lottery tickets before on Funniest Home Videos; people get excited about potentially winning free money, and may not think clearly. That’s about it; I don’t think we need to question the state of the average facebook user, or the world as a whole. Brian.

  17. kearstenolson says :

    The lottery story doesn’t surprise me. Stuff like this happens all the time and if people are gullible enough to believe it then they will. There are so many instances of people lying and pretending they are somebody they are not or have things that they don’t on the internet that I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal. In fact, if anything, I think it says something about internet culture, not our culture in general. It’s mostly the way people act on the internet, as though they can get away with something and not be held accountable to it like they are in real life.

  18. Brandon Poindexter says :

    The presentation went well for our group. A few things here and there I should have done better, but as a whole we did really good I thought. The question and answer session also went pretty well, helped by the fact that we thought of many of the question people may ask beforehand.

    And i think its great that those two cheerleader’s shaved their heads. To not only show support but also go beyond thinking of themselves and care about someone part of their team. It might ‘look weird’ but i think she’s spot on in saying that its just shaving a head vs. someone actually trying to fight for their life.

    I thought “spontaneous engine combustion” was Ford’s tagline? . . . Ok that joke might be a bit too 90’s for some. My grandfather bought a 12’ Ford Escape, I should probably check to see of its affected. Doubtful though since 2013 models are new from the ground up.

    Regarding about the medical recalls, I think ill just direct people to watch “Dateline Investigation on Supplement Industry”. Pretty interesting stuff.

  19. APhelps says :

    I would like to make a comment about the Belcher murder. And I say murder because that’s what it needs to be treated as. Now I haven’t followed all the details to a tea, and I understand that events from his past have a serious impact on the actions that took part. But under no circumstances should it come down to crime of this magnitude. There is now a homeless child without her mother brought about by this crime. This is truly a horrible story, but what really irks me is how his image is portrayed by Sportscenter and other news reporting programs. He has been treated as if he is excused of all his actions, and how he will be sorely missed. I can buy this logic in the case of a suicide, but in the case of a cold-blood murder I can not. There is no justification for killing another human like that and I wish Belcher would be treated less like a sports celebrity and instead receive more criticism and responsibility for what he had done. This is not to say he can’t be remembered for the kind of person he was to others, for everyone is entitled for adoration. But we cant absolve him from the consequences of his actions and how they have affected others, most notably his child.

    • brianbritt says :

      Andy, I think that’s a valuable point. Just because Belcher killed himself after the initial murder doesn’t lessen the impact of what he did, nor should it make him into a martyr. The same goes for his status as a professional athlete. We don’t glorify other murderers on the nightly news — why should his case be any different?

  20. mmccune91 says :

    As far as the final presentations go, I feel they went well. I’m happy they are over for the fact that I don’t have to worry about them any more. I hate that nagging feeling of knowing you have to do something but you just want to push it off until later. There are some things that I feel I could have done better, but on the whole I feel that my group did a good job.

  21. Jordan Berk says :

    I thought the presentations went very well. Not only did everyone do well on an individual basis but the groups seemed to work well as a unit too. I think its great that the cheerleaders shaved their heads. Not only did it draw attention to a cancer cause it also helped break the stigma of a female striving to look “perfect”. It is also great news that Daniels is still on track to coach within the sea on. Its very sad what happened to the chief’s player and his girlfriend. It shows that football teams, in times of detriment, have the ability to rally together around one another.

  22. tbeach21 says :

    I thought Nolan Daniels’ Facebook photo trick was pretty funny. I even fell for it. It showed up on my newsfeed, I took a quick look and shared that thing right away. Props to the guy for getting so many stupid people. Look at all the attention he’s getting.

  23. Daniel Hudspeth says :

    Presentation four was a real challenge. It was definitely something different and interesting especially with the Q&A session afterwards. It really made you think and do a whole lot of research so that you would have the most knowledge base when people asked you questions over it.
    It is also a good thing to see that a few cheerleaders would shave their heads for a cause. I think that those two cheerleaders should be recognized for their efforts.

  24. Alex Johnson says :

    I enjoyed working and presenting in a group environment much more than individually. It gives people the opportunity to focus and specialize on a more narrow section of content that when presented as a unit comes across very effectively. The MIT article interested me quite a bit as the notion of “multi-purpose” robots will advance not only the way robots function, but also in the way people perceive them. One argument for rapid space exploration is to send out a fleet of self replicating robots capable of mining the necessary resources to assemble more versions of themselves to hop from planet to planet in search of life. We’re a far way off from stuff like that, but it’s exciting to know we’re making progress.

  25. Zack Palazzo says :

    I can’t wait until Notre Dame gets crushed by Alabama. There is no debate that Alabama plays in the toughest conference in college football. Notre Dame had a couple impressive wins, but Alabama plays tough games week after week. Their only loss came from Texas A&M, who has a Heisman Finalist as their QB. Also, keep in mind that Notre Dame barely edged out PURDUE and PITT. Two very unimpressive teams. I have Alabama by at least 14.

  26. David Meyer says :

    Being a huge Colts fan, I am very happy to see all of the positive reinforcement Chuck Pagano has been getting. It’s great to see a city rally around something that is more important than just football. As for the cheerleaders who shaved their head, I think it’s a great thing. Who wouldn’t want to give money to watch a cheerleader shave her head? It was a great idea to raise money for Leukemia research.

    As for the ND and Alabama game, I will definitely be cheering for Alabama. I don’t even like Alabama. But as a football team, I just can’t stand Notre Dame. As a side note, however, I am a big fan of Manti Teo. I have a lot of respect for someone who has been through a lot but still manages to keep his head up.

  27. Rachel Dockter says :

    I think Presentation IV went pretty well, for the most part. It was pretty different, in the sense that you had to plan with and around other people, but overall I wouldn’t say it was anymore difficult than previous presentations, except for maybe the Q+A session.

    I think the whole Facebook lottery thing is kind of hilarious actually, especially considering that the fake ticket was apparently pretty obvious? It’s interesting what people will fall for when copious amounts of money are involved.

  28. Rachel Moore says :

    I think it’s great the cheerleaders shaved their heads. The support for the fight against leukemia is inspiring.
    I can believe so many people shared that post to get a million dollars. I can’t believe so many of them didn’t realize it was fake. Pretty Sad he would put that on Facebook to trick so many people. I bet someone will try and sue for that.
    Have to say, we definitely need more control over medicine. First there’s a med killing people, and now pills with glass. Something needs to be done.

    It would be awesome to have transformers. I was less impressed with there created than I thought I would be though. The motor was a genius idea, and has a lot of uses in other fields, but the transforming parts will need to be a lot smaller and stronger before we can have wrenches and cups like he mentioned in the videos.

  29. Jae Hyeon Joo says :

    Finally I have done with this course.
    The last presentation was a group presentation.
    That was the first time to do that.
    I was kind of nervous about doing that.
    It was quite fun though.

  30. Zach Gerbner says :

    The Belcher murder-suicide is especially tragic. What happened was horrible, and maybe could have been prevented, who knows. What I find somewhat upsetting though is how much is made of Belcher and how he was a good person, which while I’m sure he was, it does not take away from the fact he murdered his girlfriend. I believe that people aren’t talking enough about her and her families misfortunes, and while Belcher is a bigger name, and played in the NFL, we need to honor her as well. Truly just a tragic situation all around.

  31. Garret Howard says :

    I think that it is awesome that Notre Dame is going to the national championship. Nobody would have called this before the season started. I am glad that Alabama beat Georgia so that they can face Notre Dame in the championship game because I think that they may be the best team in college football. I am pulling for Notre Dame to win though and I am sure that it will be an awesome game to watch.

  32. bwulf24 says :

    I grew up a Notre Dame fan and it is incredibly nice to not have them be so over-rated for the first time in a long time. I really hope they show up to play at the championship game or it’s going to get ugly quick. I guess watching them so much growing up has worn on me and I’m a little afraid they’ll keep their bowl losing streak alive but I sure hope not. Either way, congrats to them for making it.

  33. liv4creativity says :

    We take indoor plumbing and clean toilets for granted. It is fascinating as to what people will build parks and commemorate art collections too. There are so many countries who are still ‘primitive’ as we would call them. Bathroom hygiene is very important for preventing diseases. I hope Mr. Toilet did not contract anything when he was born in his grandmother’s outhouse. I am curious where the New Mexico grad hid all the toilet paper he stole during his prank as an undergrad.

  34. Michael Frost says :

    Good on the cheerleaders for shaving their heads, joining many colts players. It shows that its something that can affect anyone at any time. The Facebook picture comment for $1,000,000 goes to show how easily a little photo-shopping can get people going crazy. Although I too did buy a ticket because this lotto is so high. The toilet issue has been something that we as Americans take for granted unlike third world countries where indoor plumbing is very special. I have seen a few other projects working on trying to solve this issue in other areas of the world where it would be self sufficient.

  35. mbruhn says :

    In regards to Nolan Daniels with the fake lottery winner, I think it’s quite humorous. I saw a few people in my Facebook news feed sharing this picture. At first glance I realized it was probably fake and set it aside and forgot about it. To my delight, I was correct that it was a fake ticket and all those people were fooled. If I were to share that picture myself I would have done enough research to know that it was a genuine ticket. Funny story though.

  36. Shalini Kannan says :

    I thought everyone did a wonderful job on Presentation IV! Everyone brought up various important issues on a community level which I surely was not aware of. Also, the solutions were very innovative and executable. I was very pleased with the way my group presented as well, and definitely relieved its over with. My web portfolio also came together really well. Its really fascinating what research comes up with these days such as ways to extend a persons lifespan. The toilet project was also really cool, and man who did it was super creative.

  37. Eric P says :

    It is obvious after the deaths of Jovan Belcher and now another NFL player in Dallas (due to drunk driving) that the NFL needs to invest much more in its players. And by invest I do not mean pay more, but rather invest more in counseling, medical treatment, and injury prevention for its current and former players. I know that simply throwing money at the problem won’t make it go away, but its a necessary first step toward helping players cope with the realities of being an NFL player. We don’t think that life in the NFL could possibly be difficult, given the celebrity status, the endorsements, and of course the huge paycheck. Those things ARE what make NFL life so difficult, and the NFL needs to put more into taking care of its players, both physically and emotionally.