Six Blogs: April 1-5, 2013

Week of April 1 – 5, 2013

Timothy Doner Shares 20 Languages on YouTube

Learning a new language, other than what the natives speak, is common for people all around the world. It can be beneficial in trade, business, and communication from one country to another. The NY Daily News recently reported on a 17 year old boy that has learned an impressive 20 foreign languages. I thought that I retained a good amount of Spanish during 2 years of high school, but I would never compare my abilities to that of Timothy Doner.

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Doner began studying Hebrew and is now known as a polygot, someone who speaks many different languages. With this incredible ability to pick up French, Hausa, Wolof, Russian, German, Yiddish, Hebrew, Arabic, Pashto, Farsi, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Dutch, Xhosa, Swahili, Hindi and Ojibwe, Doner decided to share what he has learned over YouTube videos. His posts have been becoming more popular and fans are writing him for questions and expressing their pure interest in his abilities. I found it interesting that he goes as far as Skyping to users with questions. Doner has developed a fan base, in which he tries to write back to with tips and advice. He replies with comments such as, “Try to make the language fun,” he suggested. “If you love Jazz or R&B, listen to that kind of music in the target language. Anything you can do to make it relevant and interesting in your own life is definitely a positive step forward.” I believe that he does a great job at inspiring people to start learning about different cultures.

Read the article here:

Timothy Doner Shares 20 Languages on YouTube

Rutgers University Fires Basketball Coach

If you’ve watched anything on ESPN or listened to sports radio in the last week, then you know Rutgers University is dealing with some major issues with their (ex) basketball coach, Mike Rice. He was fired on Wednesday morning because a video broadcast Tuesday on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” showed how his practices were taking place. After watching the video for the first time, I was astonished that this coach had not had complaints being made from the men on the team. During practice, Rice was hitting his players with basketballs, grabbing their arms to push them across the court, and uses controversial slurs against certain team members. The actions that Rice takes go over the line and surpass the level of aggression or passion that any coach should express in practice.

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So what’s the big fuss? When the video was aired on ESPN, the coach was fired. The main outrage comes from the fact that the Rutgers Athletic Director, Tim Pernetti, had seen the video in November and decided to suspend Rice, fine him $50,000, and have him attend anger management classes. Pernetti stated on the website that, “Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.” Which brings us to the University President, Robert Barchi, who also saw the tape and signed off on the suspension.

Criticism of the University is continually being posted onto multiple social media sites. The public opinion has been strong enough to fire a coach, what else are the people capable of with this direct media at their fingertips? We’ll see what happens with Rutgers Athletic Director and President, since this case sounds much like the Sandusky scandal.

Read the article here:

Rutgers Fires Basketball Coach

U.S. Diplomat Killed

CNN reports on the death of Anne Smedinghoff, a U.S. diplomat living in a heavily secured compound in Afghanistan. On Saturday she was delivering books to a school in southern Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber smashed into her convoy. She had volunteered to go to Kabul because she felt there was “a lot of good she could do there,” said her father, Tom Smedinghoff. At just 25 years old, this tragic story about Anne wakes us up to the realities of the world outside of our country. The last U.S. diplomat was killed in the September attack in Benghazi, Libya.

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The U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry, directed the following statement to the U.S. diplomats stationed in Istanbul: “The folks who want to kill people, and that’s all they want to do, are scared of knowledge. And they want to shut the doors and they don’t want people to make their choices about the future. For them, it’s ‘You do things my way and if you don’t, we’ll throw acid in your face. We’ll put a bullet in your face,’ to a young girl trying to learn,” Kerry said. “So this is a huge challenge for us. It is a confrontation with modernity, with possibilities, and everything that our country stands for, everything we stand for, is embodied in what Anne Smedinghoff stood for.” Using such harsh terms in this speech, such as, “we’ll throw acid in your face. We’ll put a bullet in your face,” are most likely going to impact the Smedinghoff family greatly, due to the recent loss of their daughter. The wording of this speech may also worry the diplomats that Kerry directed the statement to, because they are living in the dangerous areas themselves. A speech such as this one should be said in a lighter way when it is announced so close to a death.

Read the article here:

U.S Diplomat Killed

US Economy Adds 88,000 Jobs in March

When I clicked on this article it was because I wanted to report on something light and fluffy. It was wrong of me to think that 88,000 jobs was a large number, considering it is the lowest increase in the last nine months. Back in February, the US jobless rate declined from 7.6% to 7.7%. The numbers are continually fluctuating with the economy, but two major recent cuts include the US Postal Service, impacting about 12,000 jobs, and the Labor Department loosing 24,000 jobs in March alone.

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There will be a continual effort to improve and strengthen our economy while we dig ourselves out of the recession. Here are some of the employment facts that I am always concerned to see. :

The article shows that there are 51,000 extra professional and business services jobs being created, alongside 23,000 new healthcare positions.

The US economy needs to add about 90,000 jobs each month just to keep up with population growth.

The total number of unemployment people in the US in March was 11.7 million.

For adult men, the unemployment rate was 6.9%, and 7% for women.

For teenagers of both sexes, the rate was 24.2%, almost one in four people.

Read the article here:

U.S. Economy adds 88,000 jobs in March

Texas Educators Take Handgun Class

Fox News reports that a concealed handgun training class was taken by hundreds of educators at a Texas school auditorium on Saturday. The thought of 700 teachers and administrators learning about gun laws and safety gives me chills. Education has always been a very fortunate experience, and all the talk about sending police into school hallways and teachers being trained on gun use has really made me feel uneasy about the future of schooling all across the country. According to the article, “Teachers from across the state and at least one representative from each school district in North Texas attended the class, which was organized in response to the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.” I understand that the tragic events of Newtown have put the fear into people that this could happen again, but what kind of changes are we going to continue making? Just last week, the Texas Senate Education Committee approved a plan to train teachers to be armed for, “…gunfights in classrooms or at campus sporting events or board meetings,” which seems like quite intensive training for the odds of such event taking place.

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The following point of this article concerns me, for the children’s sake, as well as each teacher’s own liability:

Participants who completed the required live-ammunition firing training will be eligible for concealed-handgun licenses. There is already a proposal in place that calls for 16 hours of training for teachers to learn how to conceal them, and then how to fire back if they needed to in a situation. I feel that 16 hours is not long enough for an inexperienced gun user to learn how to properly handle a frantic situation, such as firing at someone to protect a classroom of children.
Read the article here:

Texas Educators Take Handgun Class

Researching Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) on Twitter

A company that I have had the pleasure of working with is Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. Over four separate internships, I’ve learned a great deal about their core company values, the mission, and what SEL does both internally and externally. To research them future you can find their website at selinc.com and their Twitter handle is @SEL_News.

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This week I’ve really looked into their Twitter account to see what they are posting about, who is posting about them, and did an overall evaluation of their social media presence. SEL has a mission ensure safe, reliable, and economical delivery of electric power, which was apparent in their page header, and expressed through their latest tweets. Something that I noticed right off the bat was that each post included a link to direct the readers to, which is great! Getting people interested in a topic and then supplying a connection where people can receive more information and learn more about the topic is beneficially to the company. Most of the posts are directing followers to conferences, especially their up and coming SEL Modern Solutions Power Systems Conference. The other tweets that go out are encouraging readers to interact and join discussions, attend workshops, and informs followers about SEL products. Overall, I think that the content being posted is right on par with the aim and goals that the company has.

There are certain things that I believe could boost the experience of potential twitter readers and improve the interaction that SEL receives from their followers. First, I’m a strong advocate for using pictures with posts, as it can grab a readers attention to the content. Each of the posts by SEL does include a link, that usually opens a page found on the website, for conferences or employees speaking somewhere across the US. All the tweets that are talking about company products, new releases, or interesting facts could include a picture of the product for both customers and interested users to relate to. After scrolling through a majority of the 1,051 tweets, I’ve also noticed that hash tags have not been utilized in any of the posts. Using hash tags in posts will allows individual to search for a specific topic related to SEL, and find out what people are talking about it. The last thing that I would suggest to enhance the performance of the @SEL_News Twitter is to follow other relatable companies, university’s they speak at, and even their own employees, and interact with them. By retweeting information that others post, there will be a connection made from their company back to SEL, along with generating more content for people to find while searching Twitter.

Read more at http://www.selinc.com

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