Saturday, June 25, 2011

SS103 Global Citizenship: Professor Josh Peterson

Local professor doubles as a sumo wrestler
June 24th, 2011 @ 11:30am
By Kristi Grooms, Contributor

Discipline, honor, and excellence. That is what Josh Petersen practices and preaches. He is the dean of faculty at Broadview University, a local career college, where he teaches students serious life skills. In his spare time he belongs to a brotherhood of sumo wrestlers that train and compete.
“I realized about a year ago that I needed a sport that worked with my size,” said Petersen, who is 6-foot-8-inches and 405 pounds. “Not that you need to be big to compete, but at the time I had just seen a documentary on sumo and I thought, ‘I can do that.’”

"I had just seen a documentary on sumo and I thought, ‘I can do that.'" -Josh Petersen

He researched the United States Sumo Federation and found the closest club in Idaho. His wife was skeptical and his co-workers thought he was joking.
“After the first tournament, though, my wife really liked it,” Petersen said. “After my second win I think I got a lot more traction with the people I work with. They know it’s not a joke but a real sport I’m competing in.”
Some students admire Petersen for his hobby, as well.

Josh Petersen wrestles Wesley Allen at a recent tournament.

“It’s pretty awesome that someone can have a professional career and extracurricular activities on the side,” said Nokie Pheuahakphay, a health management student at Broadview University. “I think it encourages students to be more well-rounded.”
After connecting with his partner, Wesley Allen of Logan, Utah, they decided to start Northern Utah Sumo.
“People are looking for something fun to do that tests their abilities,” Allen said. “Sumo is a great way to do that.”
Sumo in the United States isn’t all that different from Japan. In fact, the wrestlers wear the same traditional “mawashi,” Petersen said.
“I’m not really shy about it,” he said. “I do wear spandex underneath right now, but that’s because my mawashi is new and would chafe me really bad. Once it gets worn, I’ll go traditional. I figure professional sumo wrestlers go that way, why not me?”
The mawashi is strategically wrapped and folded for maximum comfort and wear.
Competition is also no joke to a dedicated sumo wrestler.
“The basic rules are very simple,” said Trent Sabo, vice-president of the United States Sumo Federation. “Force your opponent out of the dohyo (sumo ring) or cause them to touch the ground with any part of their body other than the soles of their feet. There are no rounds or periods, no points. It’s do or die.”
Though the rules are on an amateur level in the U.S. and allow women, they follow the age-long Shinto traditions. Once in the proper attire, two men or women stand outside the 15-foot dohyo and bow to each other. Then they step inside the ring and squat while symbolically washing their hands. They raise their hands together and clap to please the Shinto gods. They raise their hands again to show they have no weapons and walk up to their line to stare down their opponent. They make their last minute preparations before the referee says, “hakkeyoi,” and the “tachiai” or bull rush starts the match.

"The sport is about quiet dignity and control. I walk a little taller and feel more confident." -Josh Petersen

“In the West the emphasis is often on changing our external surroundings,” Sabo said. “In the East, however, the emphasis is to change yourself. This is the idea in sumo, to create a situation that is so intense, your mind, body and soul will become focused like a laser allowing you to perform at a super human level.”
Petersen has seen the benefits from his involvement in sumo.
“The sport is about quiet dignity and control,” he said. “I walk a little taller and feel more confident. I’ve noticed my body feels better even after getting bruised, shaken and even thrown.”
The educator in Petersen shines through as he discusses his desire to share the virtues of this sport with others. He plans on promoting it in middle and high schools, using it as a tool to teach students why they need to stay in school, stay out of drugs, and have respect for others as well as for themselves.

Kristi Grooms has a bachelor's of science in architectural studies from the University of Utah. She started writing for the Deseret News in high school and hasn't been able to stop freelancing since.

Additional Links:
Salt Lake Tribune (July 11th, 2011)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Week 12: HU121 Film In Society (No Film)

Discussion Question:
Which of the assigned films did you like the best? Why? 
If you could switch out an assigned film for one of your choice, which film would you choose? What genre does the film belong to?

Discussion Answer:

Of all the assigned films, I like Rear Window because I have always been a fan Alfred Hitchcock and the performance by James Stewart and Grace Kelly are amazing. The master of suspense was genius on present stories like these. I own most of his movies, including Rear Window.

If I could switch out any of the assigned films, it would have to be Dreamworks Animation’s SHREK for any one of PIXAR’s Toy Story films. In my opinion, SHREK’s animation was poorly done, some of the voices didn’t fit the characters, and most of the jokes feel very forced. On the other hand, the Toy Story film’s animation is done much better and the jokes work on multiple levels with out being vulgar like SHREK does. PIXAR’s films story are more original than SHREK and don’t rely on cheap jokes and pop culture.

SHREK and the Toy Story films are both in the animated fantasy genre.

Final Exam:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Week 11: MK225 Internet Marketing

Discussion Question:
“All sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” 
-Arthur C. Clarke
Identify 2 ways you expect information technologies to change in the next 10 to 20 years. Be sure to think broadly and creatively. For each idea, also discuss what opportunities/challenges it raises for marketers.

Discussion Answer:
With technology updating itself everyday, it is difficult to determine how Information Technologies (IT) would actually change in the next 10-20 years. That being said, the first way IT would be different in the future is the speed and availability of information. I believe at some point we can sit down at any computer and get our the information we need off of our computer. The second way I could see the IT changing would be more, if not most books being strictly digital. Book reading devices are all the rage now and with bookstores closing and newspapers folding it is merely a case of becoming mainstream.

Assignment: Question:
Customer complaints have been around as long as there have been customers. In the pre-Internet era, customer complaints were generally kept between the customer and the business. Complaints could be spread via word-of-mouth, but the reach of the complaint was minimal. In today's environment, customers have many more options to get their complaints voiced to the larger public. For an example of a complaint on the Internet, go to Search for the "Open Letter to Apple" video (LINK). There are many other complaint videos on this site. How would you as a marketer address this type of situation? Should this type of complaint be addressed? What is a strategy you could use?

Assignment Answer:
As a marketer I would address a customer complaint posted via YouTube by first contacting the individual directly to further investigate their complaint beyond the content of the video. I believe issues like this should be addressed because they are a customer who has an audience and by responding could effect the way his followers interact with our product. The strategy I would use would be to urge the individual to post a follow-up video giving the resolution we provided to them. If they do not do so, we would release a written or video response on the video’s YouTube page. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Week 11: HU121 Film In Society (Paranormal Activity)

Paranormal Activity (2007)
After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

Watching via NetFlix.
Information available on IMDb and Wikipedia.

Discussion Question:
What's your favorite scary movie of all time? Using your knowledge of film and the vocabulary from this class, tell us what makes it so scary. It would help to describe the sound, the shots, the acting, the lighting, and so on. Make us believe it really is the scariest movie out there!

Discussion Answer:

In general, I am not a fan of horror films but I do have a few favorite movie of the genre. The Shining is one of those few films. Throughout the film, many different types of shots are used to build the suspense and fear. 
Many creepy close up shots, especially of Jack Nicholson, raising his signature eyebrows illustrate the insanity going on inside his head. When the family journeys up to the hotel, there is a high-angle shot done from a helicopter, following them giving the sense they are being watched. Another type of shot that is used quite frequently in the film are jump shots. The shot that comes to mind is when Danny is riding his three wheel around and sees the twin girls and the shot is jumping from a full-body shot to a close-up shot to create tension.
Jack Nicholson, one of my favorite actors, is extremely creepy in this film. He really makes you think that he is completely out of his mind. The way he speaks the lines. The way he expressed with his face. Amazing work!

Assignment Question A:
  1. Both of these films had relatively small production budgets - Paranormal Activity was made for roughly $15,000, but it made over $100 million. Cloverfield made over $180 million worldwide. In either case, how did the filmmakers make the tiny budget work for them? Would the film that you watched have worked if they had another $10 million to make it? In other words, what are some ways these small budgets affected the films?
  2. Pretend you were asked to remake the film you viewed. Who would you cast to play the leads? What would you do differently?
Assignment Answer A:
  1. Paranormal Activity made the budget work for them by only using one location, having a small cast, and using "home video" footage for a majority of the film. I don't think the film would have worked if they had an additional $10 million to make it because what wouldn't add anything else to it and special effects would have taken the audience out of that reality. The small budgets made the film makers do things in innovative ways like using a more practical way to drag Katie down the hall as opposed to special effects. 
  2. If I were to remake Paranormal Activity, I would cast much like the film makers here did with unknown actors to give the film a real world feeling. THe only thing that I would have done different as the director with my version of this film to tighten up the pace, in this version some (in my opinion) run long.

Assignment Question B:
Compare and contrast two films by the same director (two Spielberg films or two Hitchcock films or two Kubrick films or Coppola films).

Assignment Answer B:
For this assignment I chosen to do two films by Steven Spielberg, that both star Tom Hanks. Firstly, Catch Me If You Can (2002) is the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. who conned millions of dollars worth of checks as a pilot, doctor and legal prosecutor. Then, The Terminal (2004) is about an eastern immigrant, Victor Navorski who finds himself stranded in the JFK airport and takes temporary resident there.

Both of the film's cinematography was done by Janusz Kaminski. Janusz Kaminski has done the majority of Spielberg's films. Both films were filmed in a similar style. Catch Me If You Can used a lot of epic long shots to show the Scope of Frank's adventures. The Terminal used medium and close up shots to give the sense of closeness to Victor.

Like the cinematography on these films the editing was done by the person, Michael Kahn. The editing on Catch Me If You can was fast pace to create the feel of the chase between Frank and Carl. The editing has a much slower pace with The Terminal because they wanted us to feel along with Victor, with time going by much slower. Steven Spielberg, one the worlds best directors, I feel approached these two films in a similar ways. Both films have strong comedic moments as do most if not all of his films do. Both films create compassion for the main character. Through Spielberg direction, he gets just what the films needs from the actors.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Week 10: HU121 Film In Society (The Graduate)

The Graduate (1967)
Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her teenage daughter, Elaine.

Watching via NetFlix.
Information available on IMDb and Wikipedia.

Discussion Question:
What films have you seen that succeed in both educating you and entertaining you?  Do you believe the films were intended to be both educational and entertaining, or was the educational aspect a default of the subject matter.  Elaborate on your response.

Discussion Answer:
Original Answer: 0/10
When thinking about films the both educate and entertain me, my mind automatically thought about the documentary films of Morgan Spurlock. He broke onto the scene with Super Size Me (Hulu video below), which explored the effect of the McDonald's menu on a person over a 30 day period. He approaches each subject with humor, even as he got sick near the end of the film. Michael Moore, director of Fahrenheit 911 (a film about September 11th), also presents his subject manner is a comedic fashion as well.

Expanded Answer: ??/10
When thinking about films the both educate and entertain me, my mind automatically thought about the documentary films of Morgan Spurlock. He broke onto the scene with Super Size Me, which explored the effect of the McDonald's menu on a person over a 30 day period. He approaches each subject with humor, even as he got sick near the end of the film. I learned a lot more from his style of presentation of then I would have if it would have been presented in any other way. Michael Moore, director of Fahrenheit 911 (about September 11th) and Bowling For Columbine (about gun control), also presents his subject manner is a comedic fashion as well. Although the subjects are very serious, but Michael Moore presents in a way that make you think deeper into the attitudes and why each side thinks the way they do. Some of the sides ideas can be way out there which creates the comedy.

Super Size Me:

Assignment Question:

How does Benjamin's apathy and disenchantment with his life reflect the culture at the time this film was made? Give examples to explain your answer.

This film has an iconic soundtrack. How did the music create tone in this film? Give examples to explain your answer.

What caused Benjamin's change? Do you think there was a specific moment when he changed? When?

What do you think happened with Benjamin and Elaine when they eventually got off the bus?

Assignment Answer:

Benjamin's apathy and disenchantment with his life reflects the culture at the time the film was made by having very little direction with his life and doing what felt good. The best example is when is when he is drifting around in the pool and his father is asking questions about what he plans to do and he is explains that he is comfortable. The affair itself is also an example of that defiance as well.

The films soundtrack consists of amazing songs by Simon & Garfunkel, which created an amazing tone for the film. The song Mrs. Robinson is playful to express the excitement of the affair. While Scarborough Fair is somber and reflective and is played when Benjamin is thinking about Elaine.


Finally and/or unfortunately meeting Elaine caused Benjamin to change. The moment that I feel this happened was at the club when the dancer is particularly close to Elaine. At this point, Benjamin notices the hurt he has caused in her eyes. 

I think that  when Benjamin and Elaine eventually got off the bus that they began planning their life together. Elaine's parents were against them being together (for obvious reasons) and would it be extremely difficult to for her to run out on her family like that without feeling that it would be worth. As for Benjamin, you can see his commitment for her in everything he does.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Week 9: MK225 Internet Marketing

Discussion Question:
Choose an industry, then identify and describe two examples of potential channel conflict that could arise in that market due to creation of a direct online sales channel. For each example, identify how the business could resolve or respond to the conflict.

Discussion Answer:
For this exercise, I have chosen to explore the potential channel conflicts when purchasing Apple products online as opposed to purchasing brick and mortar. Online purchasing from Apple is generally simple. They are usually in stock of all colors and sizes. Brick and mortar (Apple retail or others) purchasing has the potential for stock issues and uninformed employees.

Assignment Question:
In this Unit, we learn about the international online marketplace. For this assignment, you will complete a course in Skillsoft called "Competitive Strategies for a Global Marketplace." This course is designed to help you better understand online retailing. 

Assignment Answer:
Score: 15/20

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Week 9: HU121 Film In Society (SHREK)

Discussion Question:
Why was this film done as an animation? Would this film have been successful as a live action movie? Why or why not?

Discussion Answer:
I believe this film was done in animation because it is about fairy tale creatures (as fractured as they are) and they creatures are generally drawn for storybooks and being presented in this was to the viewer gives them a sense of familiarity. I   believe these films would have been less successful as a live action movie because the actions and creatures would be out of their context and not feel believable and would take the viewer out of the atmosphere of the film.

Assignment A Question: 
Describe the sound design of this film. Select one or two scenes to discuss at length. How did the sound (the sound effects, the music, etc) add to the scene? Did it make it funnier? More descriptive? Did it add specific meaning to it? 
Your discussion should be at least one page in length, double spaced using 12pt font and 1 inch margins.

Assignment A Answer:

Assignment B Question: 
See last weeks post for the assignment question: Week 8

Assignment B Answer: