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First effects of Colorado’s Amendment 64

November 15, 2012 Leave a comment

On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, Colorado and Washington both put the legalization of marijuana for recreational use on the voting ballot. Both initiatives  passed , which got the attention of everyone from NBC anchors to kids at home on their laptops. Just days after it was passed, the first wave of reaction from local governments in Colorado and Washington are starting to take form. Stan Garnett, the District Attorney of Boulder County in Colorado, decided to drop some marijuana possession charges. 

“As a result of the announcement, police officials across Boulder County also stated they will no longer issue marijuana-possession citations in light of Amendment 64. The constitutional amendment will legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in Colorado for those 21 or older.”

In addition to cases being dropped, cases against those with paraphernalia will also be  dropped as long as the pieces were clearly only used for pot.

So why are counties dropping charges and no longer writing tickets?  With Boulder County passing Amendment 64 with a 2 to 1 majority, the DA knows they would not be able to prosecute those over the age of 21. They say it will now be a waste of time and not a good use of resources.

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FAQ webpage layouts

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Frequently asked question pages are where people go when they need help with your website. Without a strong FAQ page, the people visiting your site may become even more frustrated if they can’t find the help they need. This could cause you to lose their business or viewership. Here are some websites from the Spyre Studios page that were found to be some of the best examples of FAQ pages.

The first FAQ page that seemed the least plain and most user-friendly was the Krispy Kreme site. They not only had the questions, but also the answers available without having to leave the page. It was also organized in an easy to follow fashion. The colors they use for their company as well as for the site are also calm. There is not much red, yellow, or other colors that might seem harsh.

Another FAQ page I liked was the Netflix page. This page was very basic and it was very easy to find the questions anyone might have. While I did like the design, the lack of a search bar could make some people feel like it is difficult to find what they need if it was not already listed.

The third site that had a good FAQ page was StumbleUpon . I liked that it had a search bar in addition to all of the popular search links. It also is not as messy as some of the other examples. I also like that it is broken down into sections instead of just a list of questions like some of the other websites.

Overall, I tended to find websites that had a search bar for the questions were the most useful. Also the pages with sections of questions that were similar to be grouped and labeled for faster findings. As far as the “bad” sites, or FAQ pages that were harder to navigate, they tended to have long unorganized lists of questions or they might have unrelated topics on the page as well. This could cause users to feel hopeless, and the last thing a company wants is for their customers to think the business is too complicated to use.

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The U.S. rise (and possible fall) in the oil game

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

When we think of oil producers, most of us probably think of the Middle East. However, an article in the Chicago Tribune suggests the United States could potentially become the top producer of oil in the world in just a few years. According to the article:

“an “energy renaissance” in the U.S. has caused a boost in oil, shale gas and bio-energy production due to new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Fuel efficiency has improved in the transportation sector. The clean energy industry has seen an influx of solar and wind efforts.”

While this is good news for us now, it seems by 2020 the U.S. will be the leader in oil production, but that trend will not last. In just 15 years after we take the lead, we will begin to slip back. On the brighter side of things, Americans will not be relying nearly as heavily on oil as we are now.

Green energy should hopefully overpower coal and oil. Otherwise we are in for serious trouble. With developing countries becoming more and more dependent on oil, just as America did while it was developing, oil prices will continue to rise. Along with this rise will come rises in carbon dioxide emissions as well as a rise is global temperatures. Until then, we will continue to work toward being a leader in all forms of energy.

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A Good Use of Space

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment

One New Zealand woman is making a small in change in her clothing. Instead of buying shirts with company names on them like most of us do, she is trying to sell space on a t-shirt in order to make money

 

“By selling advertising space on a blank T-shirt, which she offered to wear 24/7 for up to five months, the 21-year-old hoped to kick start her career and pay off a $25,000 student loan accumulated in three years of study at Massey University in Wellington.”

This is a great way to make money, however she needs a buyer first. Her current offer is $5000 will get a business name on her shirt for one month.

At the time of the article she had received a few offers, but had not made a deal yet.

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Why Linking Is Your Most Valuable Resource

November 1, 2012 Leave a comment

When linking to articles, people tend to over think the process. They may try to give information of which they know very little about. This is a problem mainly when writing an article that requires sources or outside information. Mastering the art of linking can be very beneficial to a group who has limited time or resources.

This clip from “Miracle on 34th Street” shows a real life application of linking that can easily be translated into linking for online stories. In the clip, Santa works at Macy’s and is telling people where to get toys that Macy’s does not carry. This upsets his manager until Mr.Macy hears that people are happy the store is helping them. Due to the kindness of helping them, the customers vow to be life time customers at Macy’s.

So, if you are unsure of something, tell your audience where they can find the information they want. Helping them will allow you to gain their trust, equaling more loyalty from those people. In addition to this form of linking, journalist Jeff Jarvis talks about a more efficient way to write using links in his essay “New Rule: Cover what you do best. Link to the rest.” His title says it all.  The best way to make a good story is to use the resources you have. Often times people writing for the web use links to other websites to improve their story, and there is no shame in this.

These two styles of linking both have very important effects on how much your audience relies on you as a writer. If you always point them in the right direction when you can not help them they will appreciate and respect you more. Using Jarvis’ advice for saving time and energy by linking will also make you a more productive writer, leading to more posts and a potentially larger audience. The circle of helping and linking is continuous and, if done properly, can create a success in any field you may be working in.

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Interesting Links about Alcohol and College

October 25, 2012 Leave a comment

In this article, a scientist is attempting to find a safe, non addictive, hangover free alternative to alcohol. His biggest problem is the problem of funding.

Another college has tried to bring awareness to the effects of alcohol by using beer goggles to show students how alcohol can affect stability and movement.

This week is also Alcohol Awareness Week in some colleges. There is more information about the goal of the activities this week here

This website has a long list of alcohol facts and figures. It is broken down between men, women, college, athletics  and other various topics.

There are also a number of negative effects alcohol use has. The Above the Influence website describes some of these negative effects.

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5 Links about Alcohol and College

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Everyone knows alcohol and college can go hand in hand. When kids go off to college, they are around older kids who have access to alcohol. They also are away from their parents, or any other guardian who would be opposed to their underage use of alcohol. Here are 5 links about some effects of alcohol on college life. 

MillerCoors has made a donation to a Washington college to help study prevention of alcohol abuse techniques in the school’s Greek life. 

One school in New York is having an increasing problem with a sudden rise in drinking. Police are having trouble controlling underage drinking and open containers outside of bars. 

Some schools are participating in an Alcohol Awareness Week. This can be a good opportunity to show some students how to be safe if they do choose to drink.

This article shows the results of a study on whether online intervention and prevention programs for alcohol are working as well as face to face interaction. 

Another step being is the passing of a new law here in Indiana. Suppose your friend has had too much to drink and needs medical attention. Even if you are underage, you will not be ticketed for underage drinking if you call to help the person and stay when police arrive.

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