Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pitting Hackers Against Hackers (A Republish from Editorial Writing Class)

The University of Georgia recently announced that nearly 19,000 staff and employees’ personal information has been found on a public website. Personal information not only included names, birthdays, and addresses, but home phone numbers and social security numbers. The information has been available on the site since 2008. And while it isn’t completely the fault of UGA, that’s still 18,341 employees who could possibly have their identities stolen.


While the University of Georgia investigates how confidential information could have ended up on a public site, many fingers are pointing at hackers. If it is indeed an issue of computer hacking, it wouldn’t be the only incident. In fact, this month the US military discovered that its drones’ computers were hacked at a military base in Nevada. Now, it’s going beyond affecting individual identities; this is an issue of national security.

So, how can we stop these hackers?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dawn of the Shark: Movies That Are Killing Sharks

So, I'm taking an editorial magazine writing class right now, and for the past few weeks we've been talking about blogging. Here's one of the blogs I put up on the class blog....

I'll be the first to admit it. I've been a self-proclaimed addict since I was six years old. Shark addict, that is. It started with an overly sensitive fear that kept me out of any body of water—ocean, lake, pond, sometimes even the pool—and eventually led to my current adoration for Shark Week. Naturally, you would think that I wouldn't have an issue with the trending shark obsessions. But now, with the new Shark Night 3D movie coming out, it's all becoming a bit overwhelming.

Sharktopus :: Seriously?

Yesterday, as I was perusing the aisles of Vision Video, I abruptly stopped at the image of a strange creature: a "sharktopus" as it was called. Standing there slightly awestruck by its pure hilarity I thought, "What the hell is that? And who on earth would rent that flop-of-a-movie?" But, let's be honest, Sharktopus isn't the only one if its kind. There's Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon and now Shark Night (and don't forget, it's 3D).

All of these terrible Hollywood films are playing with my emotions. I can't decide if I should laugh or shed a few tears. I love me some Shark Week shows filled with intensely gruesome shark attacks, or at least perfectly acted dramatizations of those attacks. And a night of Jaws is never wasted. (It was definitely a worthy first pg-13 movie when I was a kid.)

I wouldn't go as far as saying they're all bad movies, but I don't believe I'll ever give in to the corny shark creations. It's almost a disgrace to the sharkdom of Discovery Channel and Jaws. Maybe I'm taking it too seriously though. Maybe I'm missing the whole point of an overly-corny film. What do you think? Are these shark movies cheap Hollywood atrocities or simply incredible entertainment?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2 Cup Coffee Days

Today was a two-cups-of-coffee-day. Normal for Wednesday, right? I don't know what was wrong with me, but I could not for the life of me stay focused.

My HGTV Desk :: UGA Tumbler

So, every single day, I do the just about the exact same thing. I wake up. I work out. I get ready. I eat yogurt. I drive to work. The second I'm at work, the first thing I do is grab my University of Georgia tumbler and walk to the far end of HGTV. Why do I walk all the way to the far end of my wing rather than step outside my door to get coffee? It's a secret. You see, some people are satisfied by the single-cup coffee maker in the main kitchen area. And I was for the first two weeks of work-- until I discovered the "other" kitchen. Few people venture that far, but those who do find it completely worth the walk.

Ok, it's not really that big of a deal, but there's a Starbuck's coffee machine down there. And that's exactly what I get every single morning, tired or not. If you knew me in high school, you understand I'm a bit compulsive about things sometimes, and this is one of those patterns that I simply enjoy.

For now, I'm working on building up the courage to talk to the other people brewing coffee. I've chimed in a few times, but not too much. But the second I hear HGTV coffee gossip, you all will be the first to hear.

Are you all as obsessed with routine as I am? What do you love doing that you'll never stop...just because?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Smell the Fresh Coffee Brewing

Ok. Today's the day...I'm starting this blog off fresh. I plan on writing more often, and I plan on writing specifically about coffee (or at least all the experiences I have involving coffee, coffee tables, coffee houses, coffee makers, etc.). I feel invigorated after working at HGTV for almost 6 weeks now-- invigorated to write. I mean I'm getting paid to blog for freaking HGTV. Is that even a real job? (Why yes it is!) So, I'm hoping to start building my blog one week at a time. And I'm really excited to get out into the blog world, now that I now more about it. Can't wait to start writing about coffee!

I think my first post will be about HGTV coffee breaks. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In Disguise

London has a smell. It isn’t particularly unique, but every time I smell it, it says, “London!” Before I studied in London, I had probably forty people warn me of the British rain. But the rain never really came except in a cloud-like mist once a day for maybe 20 minutes. Instead, London fashioned bustling streets of double-decker buses constantly passing me on the streets like a Night Bus in Harry Potter kicking fumes in the crisp air in front of me.

The Tube, London’s underground, swished by with a lingering dust that would penetrate my nostrils. Sometimes, the wind even did the work for my over-stimulated nose. Those overpowering smells of cars, double-decker buses, and Tube exhaust are London. Still, when campus buses pass by with a whirl of wind and maybe a few autumn leaves, I can’t help but think, “It’s London in disguise.” I never expected fumes and pollution or anything negative sounding to remind me of my favorite city. Almost like someone who loves the smell of gasoline or skunks, bus exhaust is my odd olfactory love.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mom's Room

In my family the kitchen is my mom’s room. When I step in the front door of our house, her cooking penetrates each room with herbs, spices, and warmth only feasible from my mother.
Sometimes, on cool afternoons in her kitchen, she opens the small window in the back left corner overlooking the glistening Tennessee lake to better regulate the oven-heated room. She keeps her favorite herbs potted on the windowsill for easy access and the occasional scented whirl of basil, rosemary, and thyme.
That back corner is always busy when my six siblings and I are home. Protruding under a mosaic-tiled vent and in between a limestone sink large enough to bathe one of my mom’s little dogs, is her prized Wolf stovetop and oven. Just about anything can be made on the grease-streaked, constantly-in-use gas stove.
When new guests see our kitchen for the first time, they look around befuddled. “Where’s the refrigerator, dishwasher, or microwave?” Well, they’re all hidden. Most people wouldn’t know this about my mom, but she despises the appearance of appliances. Even more so, she never wants to admit that she might possibly use a microwave. So, she has all of her appliances camouflaged with dark-stained wood, as if they were just more cabinets, and the microwave shoved in the pantry.
With a large family, the 16-ft island is nearly always covered with red onions, aromatic garlic, kerosene-sized tanks of olive oil, one-peel clementines, and French recipe books. Every possible neutral color speckles her room—from the terracotta orange walls to the pale yellow tiles on the island, my mom knew exactly what would make her kitchen not only stand out and amaze, but truly capture a French-influenced grandeur. That kitchen is Saturday waffles, Thanksgiving dinner for forty, and cocktails when the babies go to sleep. That kitchen is home.