The Media: Are Films Better Than The Mainstream Media When It Comes To Conditioning People?

For quite some time now, there has been one source that people look towards to be informed and another when they want to be entertained. This is not to say that someone thinks about one of these sources when they want to be informed/entertained, as it is likely to be something that just happens.

Over The Years

There is the chance that one has been exposed to these sources from a very young age, and this is why they want need to consciously think about them. Instead, they can simply look into what is taking place in the world, or see what films are out, for instance.

If, on the other hand, they needed to think about how they can find out what is taking place or how they can amuse themselves, they would need to use more energy. Once one of these needs arises, they can soon come into contact with what they desire.

One Experience

This could mean that one spends about as much time learning about what is taking place in the world as they do being distracted from it. In this case, one could have a reasonable understanding when it comes to what is going on, and when it comes to films, they might be fairly up to date.

One way of looking at this would be to say that they have a fairly balanced approach to it all. Therefore, if someone was to talk about something that has just taken place or a film that has just come out, they might be able to have a conversation with them.

Another Way

Alternatively, one could be in a position where they have the tendency to focus more on what is going on around them. They might watch films from time to time, but that could be as far as it goes.

Yet, if this is not how they experience life, it could show that they spend more time watching films. When it comes to what is taking place in the world, it could be seen as something they haven’t got time for.

The Odd Occasion

At the same time, even if one experienced life in this way, it doesn’t mean that they will always behave in this way. There could be moments when they will take a step back from what they would usually do.

For example, if they are going through a tough time, they might feel the need to watch more films; this can then be a way to deal with the pain/stress that they are experiencing. If something catastrophic is taking place in the world, it could cause them to sit up and take notice, and to forget about being entertained for a little while.

Omnipresent

When it comes to the technology that is available in today’s world, it is not going to be difficult for one to fulfil these two needs. The only thing they will need in order for this to take place will be to have some kind of device.

Through going online with a Smartphone/tablet, they will be able to find all the news they desire and as much entertainment as they can handle. Some of this will be free, and there can be times when they will have to pay.

Two Sides

On one side, there is going to be how this benefits the average person; With them no longer having to put in as much effort to come into contact with what they need. A lot of the time they would have spent looking for the news or going to buy a DVD, for instance, can now be used in other ways.

And on the other side, there is going to be the effect this has on the mainstream media and the film companies. The first source no longer needs people to come to them; they can deliver the news to them directly.

Online

This can take through posting articles on social media, and so as long as someone ‘likes’ or ‘follows’ them, they will be able to stay up to date. Or, they can simply go onto a search engine and find out that way.

When it comes to entertainment, one can join a website that will allow them to watch a film or a series whenever they want to. It is then going to be possible for them to get their productions right in front of people.

Direct Access

In the past, the primary way for these sources to gain people’s attention was for them to watch TV. This gave the people behind these sources a lot of control over people, and it could be said that the latest technology has given them even more.

However, although the mainstream media defined how people saw the world in the past, this is no longer the case. For one thing, they can now look towards the alternative media, and this has taken a lot of their power away.

Its Over

When it came to what this source of information said in the past, it would have been difficult for people to know if it was true or not. Nowadays, they can look towards other sources to see if there is more to it.

Through being able to do this, it has been shown that the mainstream media don’t simply exist to inform people. It might be more accurate to say that their main purpose is to condition people to see the world in a certain way.

It’s not over

Even so, while the mainstream media no longer has the same amount of control as it used to have, the same can’t be said when it comes to entertainment industry. It can be normal for someone to be critical of what they hear from the mainstream media, but when they watch something they can simply take it all in.

But if they believe that films are only made to entertain people, there is going to be no reason for them to take a step back. Thus, when it comes to conditioning people, it could be said that films are going to be the best option.

Conclusion

Now, clearly there are lot of people who no longer listen to the mainstream media, but there are still plenty of people who do. And while there is an alternative when it comes to being informed, the same can’t be said when it comes to being entertainment.

After a hard day at work, one can end up sitting back and allowing everything they see to enter their mind. On the surface, they can be watching something that has been created to entertain them, but at a deeper level, there can be far more to it.

6 Characteristics of the Lion to Consider For Your Own Leadership

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As a leader, there are certain qualities and characteristics of lions that you might find useful to consider – for yourself and your “pride.” Let us just take a few minutes to explore these and as with all metaphors, we aren’t going to beat this one to death.

1. Protective

You don’t have to watch very many Discovery Channel shows about lions to see how very protective they are – of territory, themselves, their young, and so forth. As far as being more lion-like, what do you need to be protective of? Protective of yourself? Your money? Your children? Your partner? Your spouse? Your business? Your colleagues? Your position? Your beliefs? So, exactly what do you need to be protective of?

2. Brave

Being lion-like means you are brave and courageous. Naturally, you choose when and where to be brave vs. timid, courageous vs. cowardly. We all make choices every day. Look for opportunities today and every day where you can be brave. It does make a difference, both for you and for others.

3. Willing to fight

Hmm…we know that lions will fight when need be. They don’t pick fights but because they are willing to protect their food, their mates, their territory and so forth, they will fight if necessary. What is the one thing you are willing to fight for?

Many readers are parents and my guess is that many parents would be willing to fight for their children. Or maybe you are a professor who is willing to fight when you see other faculty members being bullied. Maybe you are a teacher who is fighting for particular students who need your “protection.”

What is it for you? Really. What are you willing to fight for? The one thing?

4. Hunters

LOTS of people are concerned right now about financial issues. Someone wrote to me recently that she had overheard middle school girls in the bathroom at a movie talking about how they needed to come up some ways to earn money because after the legislature was over, their parents weren’t going to be able to give them money for the movies any longer. You might be one of the people who is “hunting” for money. You might be hunting for it for your own personal situation or you are hunting money for projects at work or for community needs and the like.

But what else do us lion-like folks hunt for? You might describe it thus:

  • Bravery to find what really makes me happy
  • Bravery to ignore what others feel is successful and find my own success
  • Bravery to dare to make dramatic changes in the path of my career that will also change my personal life…and vice versa

What are you hunting? And just like a lion on the Savannah, you may or may not find it, but you hunt regardless.

5. Group members (part of a pride)

6. Loners in the big scheme of things

The last two – being part of a group (i.e., a pride) and also being somewhat loners in the big scheme of things – let’s think about these together.

As a person who is seeking ways of staying positive, no matter how crazy things are around us, we need both to see ourselves as being part of a pride – a team – a family – a group – an association – a community – or whatever you might call it. We have to deliberately assemble our group – small or large – that will assist us in our – if I can use this word – survival. Lions aren’t part of prides for no reason. There’s a reason. You need a “pride” of your own if you are to “survive” in your positive place.

And, here’s the other part (at least as my little brain considers this), we are also loners in the bigger scheme of things. What I mean by that is, just as lions are not hanging out with all the other animals but rather hang out – sometimes completely alone – but certainly mostly just with a few other lions, we also may need to separate ourselves sometimes.

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Ancient Philosophy On The Internet Can Change How We Think

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Here I am again sitting at my computer, my job is to write about the positive aspects of the Internet. I’d like to think of myself as a bit of a novice philosopher as well as writer. The other day in poetry class at university my lecturer mentioned a quote from a guy who I had already read and enjoyed, Baruch/Benedictus Spinoza. The quote mentioned was quite a simple one, and in my opinion simplicity is the best form of communication (and everything else for that matter). Spinoza once said, “Reality is perfection.” I feel this idea is quite a powerful one indeed, in relation to all aspects of life, including the Internet.

Where do you go these days when you want to find out about anything? Church? School? Parents? No, you go to the Internet. The Internet is the collective pool of unconscious, sub consciousness, and conscious ideas, beliefs, knowledge and wisdom of humanity from the past to the present. There has never been such a tool available for us. Of course there is a perfectly imperfect amount of crap out there to sift through as well, but that is intrinsic in this perfectly balanced reality that has always existed.

So, if reality has always been perfect, why is the existence of the Internet anything special? The truth is, it is only as special as anything else in life. Now, you have to ask yourself, “Is life special?” I think you know the answer to that one…then again there’s that perfect paradoxical balance. Why the Internet then? Well, my younger brother once said, and I don’t know where he pulled this little tidbit of wisdom, “The only constant in the Universe is that everything is in constant transition.” The Internet exists because of a natural progression in human thinking; it’s an evolution of our collective minds. It is a constructed idea formed through the process of eternal change.

Human beings have a huge history spanning at least half a million years. As well as the magic feeling of love there has always been the balancing emotion of fear. It seems that over time societies go through different stages where one of these feelings dominates and then permeates general actions by the community. At the moment many people would find it hard to disagree with the fact that we are in a period of fear. With war, hatred and segregation prevalent in reality as well as the ‘reality’ presented by the   media  news and  TV /film, fear is reigning supreme in many of our daily interactions.

This relates to the use of the Internet because it looks as though people are afraid to get on the Web. I used to be afraid for Pete’s sake! To tell you the truth I still have some irrational fears when it comes to researching a paper for school. I often think, “Will I find the ‘right’ information?” The answer of course is that there is always a possibility of things going wrong, that’s this perfection of reality. Life would be stale, stagnant and sterile otherwise. The key lies in our belief in this perfection. The Internet has eliminated the need to go to libraries and carry around huge books just to read small sections of each. There is also less need to get to a science library and then sociology, mathematics etc. So much information is now available to people in our own homes.

Whether you are researching seventeenth century philosophers’ ways of thinking for personal or professional reasons, or even just looking up information on how to make your own chai tea, or on how to change the oil on your car; the Internet is a source for so many areas of interest it is simply mind boggling. It is truly the most perfect form of reality’s perfection in modern contemporary society. That’s why they call this the Information age right? The only problem has to deal with the perfectly imperfect amount of pornography that constitutes more than half of all websites on the Web. What does this say about our current moral disposition in our changing perception’s construct of reality? I’ll leave you with that one to ponder…

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How To Care For Your Mudcloth

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The African mud cloth is an intriguing piece of artwork that has been made for centuries. Originally from the nation of Mali, the cotton-based fabric is a cultural treasure, and the unique designs that adorn it are handmade by African artisans.

Once the cotton strips are sewn together on a loom, they are then stitched together by a professional tailor, so that the cloth becomes large enough to suit various functions, such as for curtains, furniture covers, or clothing.

The delicate process of making and painting a mudcloth involves many coats of using fermented mud which was gathered from local African rivers. The artists use this mud to create the darker portions of their designs, and then use a caustic solution to bleach the areas that are not covered with mud.

Thus, whenever you find yourself with a mudcloth, whether you bought it, are borrowing it, or are just caring for it, you need to keep in mind that it is fundamentally made of cotton– which is a perishable material– and mud, which can be washed off significantly if the cleaning process is too harsh. This is a fabric that needs extra special attention and care to last long. And, if you’re an interior designer, you might be interested in a long-lasting African mud cloth from Acaciawood.

So, the first step in caring for the mud cloth is pre-washing it. This is a simple step used to prepare the cloth for the various crafts or sewing that you might use it for. This pre-washing will remove any excess dirt or dye that still might be in the material. After this stage, the fabric will become softer and smoother to the touch.

Before doing the pre-wash, or any kind of washing of the mudcloth, it is best to test a small piece of any part of the fabric to make sure the cleaning agent and/or detergent works properly. If you have never cleaned a mudcloth before with a certain kind of detergent, it is best to test it. But, once you know that a detergent works well, you can use it on future mudcloths.

Most detergents will work well, but it is best to take the extra precaution. Avoid using the harsher kinds of detergents and soaps as you can never be quite sure of the chemical reaction that might take place with the dyes of the fabric and the cleaning agent.

The precise method of cleaning can be by machine washing, or by hand washing. If you decide that you will clean your mudcloth in a washing machine, the best thing for you to do is place the fabric in a lingerie bag and wash it in cold water. You also want to use a gentle cycle with not too much agitation, and a mild detergent without extra chemicals (as mentioned above). Avoid the warm water and harsher cycles on your machine as this may cause extra wear on the fabric and cause the colors to fade.

Also note that in the washing the water may turn a dark color initially due to the presence of the mud dyes. This is normal, but your washing machine may require an extra rinse before you wash other clothes. To dry, hang it up in the sun, or lay it out flat to dry. The mudcloth can be ironed with a steam-iron if you so desire, although keep in mind that too much steam will wear out the fabric in the long-term. Use the “cotton” setting on the iron or a cooler setting.

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Windows Media Video Compression Using Adobe Premiere Pro

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I’ve written this tutorial for anyone who uses adobe premiere pro and wants to find out the best way to compress a video using “Windows Media Video”.

I cover things like what bitrate to use with what resolution and frame rate as well as what a few of the different settings do and mean. Find out for yourself and take a read…

(not you will need to copy and paste image url’s in to your browser)

Getting to Adobe Media Encoder

1. Render all unrendered footage if you haven’t done so already in premiere pro

2. Now go, File >> Export >> Adobe Media Encoder

3. Select “Windows Media” from the format drop down list

4. Then, from the preset drop down list, select something like “WMV9 720 25p” (doesn’t really matter what you choose)

Video Settings

1. Select “Video” on the left hand side of the Adobe Media Encoder

2. Under Video, make sure…

  • Select “Windows Media Video 9” as the codec
  • Leave “Allow Interlaced Processing” Unticked
  • Under Bitrate Settings, Select “Two” encoding passes and make sure the mode is “Variable Constrained”. This offers way better results compared to a single encoding pass

Image: fullvoltage.com.au/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=333.0;id=29;image

Audio Settings

1. Select “Audio” on the left hand side of the Adobe Media Encoder

2. Under Audio, make sure…

  • Select “Windows Media Audio 9.1” as the audio codec
  • Under Bitrate Settings, Select “Two” encoding passes and make sure the mode is “Constant”. This will make sure the audio quality stays the same the whole way through the video

Image: fullvoltage.com.au/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=333.0;id=30;image

Audience Settings

1. Select “Audiences” on the left hand side of the Adobe Media Encoder

2. Audiences is the most important part as this is where you actually set the quality and the file size

3. Now, select your desired frame rate, it’s usually best to keep it at its original level. But, say you’re original level is 50 frames a second, reduce it to 25. If you’re going for a really small file, then you’d want to bring your fps down to 20 or 15, but 25 will always enhance the footage as it will appear a lot smoother.

4. For Pixel Aspect Ratio, set it to however you’re original footage is set. If you’re editing footage shot on the computer, then square pixels will give you the best results.

5. Frame Width and Frame Height is a big factor for when considering image quality with file size. You kind of need to match them both up. In theory, for simple scenes like a close up of a human face “1 bit” per 200 pixels will offer good results,you may even want to try 250 pixels per bit. But with a more complex scene which includes maybe scenery and shrubs or a fast action video.etc, you’d want to aim around “1 bit” per 100 pixels (no where over 140 pixels per bit). To work this out, simply look at all the scenes in your video. If your scenes vary a lot in terms of colour and complexity, then you want lesser pixels per bit, this will increase file size (or reduce image size) but will offer way better results otherwise. On the other hand, if you’re video contains long interviews with a still background. Then the compressor will be able to produce good results with a high pixel per bit rate.

6. Now, moving down to the basic audio settings, if you’re video contains a lot of sound and the sound is really important in the video. Then you wont want to go under 96kb/s, but I usually prefer to use 160kb/s or 128kb/s as if you compare the 160kb/s bitrate of the audio to the say 5000 bitrate of the video, you can see that the audio isn’t going to effect file size much in this case. The higher your video bitrate, the lesser the impact the audio will have on the filesize. Use CBR audio, not (A/V) CBR audio. Use stereo if your sound differs from channel to channel (most music does).

7. Back to the Video now, Set Decoder Complexity to Auto

8. For key frame interval, if you have a high action video with complex scenes, set this to about 1 or 2. On the other hand, if you have not so complex scenes like an interview with a still background, then you can raise this up to about 10.

9. Leave buffer size as default

10. Now, here is the good bit. Because earlier on, we set a Video Encoding mode to a Two pass encode with a variable but constrained bitrate. This means we can now give a maximum and average bitrate. It will use the maximum bitrate in the more complex scenes and will use the average bitrate for normal scenes. Now, setting your bitrate is important. This is basically, where we shove all our resolution and other data, in to a tightly packaged file. If you package your file to tight, bits of data start oozing out the corners which is why it’s important to package your video tight, but not too tight. Let’s say we have a rather complex video which is fairly fast paced with lots of different colours and scenes. We set our resolution to 1024×768 with a frame rate of 25 and we want excellent quality, but a small file size.

Ok, let’s put what we learnt in to play. Ok, 1024 multiplied by 768 gives us 786000 pixels. That means that every single frame will contain 786000 pixels. If our video is running at 25fps, that’s 19.2 million pixels a second. The way compressors work, is they look for similarities across multiple frames and they try and share the data. Sometimes, when you set the bitrate too low, it just can’t deal with that data so it needs to throw away some pixels. The lower the bitrate, the more pixels get thrown around or ripped up.

11. Now, we need to set the bitrate. So, seeing our scene is fairly complex, and we want good quality, I think 130 pixels per bit will be fine. So, lets divide 786000 by 130. This gives us 6040 bits. So, 6000 bits a second is what we need. We’ll set 6000 as the peak and 5000 as the average. Now, 5000 bits a second will produce a fairly large file in terms of the internet, but remember, we are using a resolution of 1024×768 which is very big in terms of the net, but we want viewers to see “all” the work we have put in to it.

12. Now, once the bitrate is set, we have our buffer size, the larger your bit rate, the larger you want your buffer size. In this case, a buffer of 20/25 will be fine (buffer usually doesn’t effect anything).

Image: fullvoltage.com.au/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=333.0;id=31;image

Saving

1. Now, save the preset buy hitting the floppy disk icon up the top of the Adobe Encoder Window. But, before you do that, place a comment for the preset if you want.

2. Now, hit OK at the bottom of the window which will then prompt you for a location to save it. It will also give an estimated file size based on your video length and you’re peak data rate (for both the video and audio). But seeing we are using a variable bit rate, this estimate is usually higher than the end result.

3. Let it render out, then enjoy.

Tips

  • It’s usually good to set your work area to a length of 5 seconds over a complex part of your video, that way, you can do test renders to find the best bit rate
  • If you get errors while exporting and you use a hyperthreading processor or a dual core processor, visit this site to fix the problem. If you don’t get this problem, it may still be a good idea to visit the site and get the new adobe media encoder.

    [http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/330380.html]

I hope you learnt something from this tutorial Smiley

Cheers!

[http://www.fullvoltage.com.au]

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