Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Police Officials and a Local Boy Save a Canadian Man Stranded in His Vehicle on a Railroad Crossing in Old Orchard Beach, ME.

Two police officials and a local teenage boy are heroes after saving a man who stalled his car on railroad tracks in Old Orchard Beach, ME, today.

Brian Paul and Janet Paradiso chief and captain of police in Old Orchard Beach respectively, rammed a police cruiser into Francois Truffaut’s pink Cadillac Seville and pushed it from the tracks.

James Laboke, 17, noticed the stalled car and ran 100 yards to the police station on Pier Street to report the incident. According to Laboke, the man appeared to be unconscious, and the car doors were locked. Laboke pounded on the window, but the driver remained slumped over the wheel. 

Paradiso was about a mile away from the railroad crossing. She arrived at the scene just five minutes before the train was due. “I knew there was no time. I had to do something,” Paradiso said. The Amtrak commuter train hurdled down the tracks at 40 miles per hour seconds after the successful rescue.

A tourist from Québec City, Canada, 80-year-old Truffaut has been coming to Old Orchard Beach since he was a child. A diabetic, Truffaut may have gone into insulin shock as he reached the railroad crossing.  He was listed in stable condition at Southern Maine Medical Center.

Amtrak operates a passenger train that runs from Portland, ME, to Boston called the Downeaster. It makes a special stop in Old Orchard Beach during the summer months. It leaves southbound from Portland every morning and comes through town at about 6:10 a.m.

Old Orchard Beach is a summer tourist community on the southeastern coastline of Maine. It is best known for its long beach, its wooden pier stretching out over the bay, and its family-friendly amusement park.

Laboke, a waiter at the Eezy Breezy Restaurant on East Grand St., wakes up every morning at 5 a.m. to walk to work. An Afghan refugee, he has been living in Old Orchard Beach for three years. Laboke managed to report to work right on time and didn’t mention anything about the incident to his boss, Charles Champaigne.

Champaigne, the restaurant’s owner, said that Laboke was one of most responsible employees. “He’s just a great kid,” Champaigne said. He hired Laboke about eight months ago.

“I never thought about it,” Laboke later said. “I just knew I couldn’t let that man get crushed by a train.”

Close Call with Canadian Tourist Whose Car Got Stranded on a Railroad Crossing in Old Orchard Beach, ME, Police Say. - BRIEF

According to a police report, 80-year-old Francois Truffaut was trapped in his stalled car on railroad tracks in Old Orchard Beach, ME, today.

James Laboke noticed the stalled car and reported it to police. According to Laboke, the man appeared to be unconscious, the car doors were locked. Laboke pounded on the window, but the driver remained slumped over the wheel. 

Janet Paradiso, captain of the town police force, was in her cruiser about a mile away from the railroad crossing. She arrived at the scene just five minutes before the train was due. “I knew there was no time. I had to do something,” Paradiso said.

Brian Paul, chief of police in Old Orchard Beach, and Paradiso rammed a police cruiser into Trufgfaut’s Cadillac and pushed it from the tracks.

A diabetic, Truffaut may have gone into insulin shock as he reached the railroad crossing.  He was listed in stable condition.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Just Want to Write.

I feel like I keep writing about the same thing. But, that’s what I love about writing. It allows me to express my thoughts in a clear and decisive manner.

All of these blog posts are just philosophical jargon that comes to mind, and I just type without hesitation.

I want to write about something interesting; something that is relevant to me. I want to put forth my own opinions and ask my own questions. But, I want to do that to the reader, not any one else.

Finding random things to write about in order for an assignment (including getting people’s opinions about a certain subject – which I couldn't care less about) can be somewhat grueling, especially with a hectic schedule.

However, as the British would say, one must Keep Calm and Carry On – something I plan to do.

As long as I can orate a valuable story through effective orchestration of words and writing styles, I will feel successful and deemed worthy as a verbal communicator.

But, then again, I just like to speak in verbose and eloquent styles; Putting my $20,000 per year education to good use is better than talking down to readers in “stupid” talk at a seventh grade level; what is American news trying to do? Dissuade citizens from getting an education and sticking to grammar school education? No thanks.

And, with this, my pointless and ranting anecdote concludes. Good evening to all.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What I Learned in Class that Day

Scouring for stories can be a nuisance. It's a huge nuisance, in fact.

However, doing that exercise in class taught me to be more adventurous, and to realize that stories really do lurk around every corner.

I mostly found out and learned about different curricular activities offered at UNH that I would never have even known about if I had not went out to look for them. Of these activities, I noticed advertisements for a hammock club. I think writing a feature story on this club would be very interesting, especially since people may want to read about what the club's actual function is... and where hammocks would be allocated during the winter months.

I also noticed an advertisement for an NRA meeting, which I have gone to, in order to write a story about the debate over gun control. I'm glad that I went to the event, since I learned a lot about the NRA as well as constitutional rights.

I feel like it is imperative to just go and find a story without actually searching for one. Walking around a public building and staring at classrooms and bulletin advertisements are more than enough to draw in a good story. It may not be current "breaking" news, but it may be something interesting for the writer to want to research and write about... and, to me, that's all that matters. If the reader doesn't want to read it, then fine, he or she doesn't have to. But, the important thing is that I ventured out and discovered something new to convey to someone else.

So far, I have noticed the following as intriguing stories, albeit a story has already been covered by The New Hampshire. Maybe a follow-up as a regular news story could be written to raise more awareness instead of an editorial.

Leads? What Leads?

Leads  who needs them? Seriously?

To be blunt, I honestly don't get them. They are the same as an opening paragraph to an essay... but WAIT. No, they aren't. They're leads. But they still introduce the reader what is going to be talked about. So, in a basic sense, they are the same.

Anyway, I'm not a fan of leads. And they're not a fan of me. I feel like leads have to be extremely precise in order to properly hone in on a particular subject. I'm not good at summarizing things in thirty words or less; I like to be verbose and explain rather than dramatize and have the reader jump to conclusions.

But, whatever. Leads are imperative to journalism. I just like to complain about it.

Here are some links to stories that I found with interesting leads:

This TNH article has a basic, inverted-pyramid lead 
This Union Leader article may be a blind lead
And this Huffington Post article may be a delayed lead

The effectiveness of each lead is unique to each story. For instance, since no story is alike, and no writer writes the same, all leads are written to make each story sound better; a hard story has a basic, inverted lead, while a soft story may have an anecdotal lead.

As an addendum to this blog post, one should note that searching for online news stories for free on the Internet can get somewhat annoying, since they barely exist.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The New iPhone 5 - Hit or Miss?

Apple Inc. announced their new iPhone 5 in San Francisco, Calif. last Tuesday. “Today we’re taking it to the next level, making a huge leap,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said. “We have some very exciting news to tell you about iPhone.” The iPhone 5 is one of the thinnest and most advanced smartphone in the market to date.

iPhone 5 is designed and built to an exact level of standard unlike anything Apple, or anyone in the industry, had made before. “The hard work and software engineering that has gone into this product is the most challenging our team has ever taken on” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior voice president of worldwide marketing, said. “What [our engineers] have accomplished is simply amazing.”

The iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest smartphone that Apple has ever made. It is 18 percent thinner than its predecessor at 7.6 millimeters thin, just shy of 2 millimeters slimmer than the previous model. iPhone 5 also weighs 28 grams less, making it 20 percent lighter than the 4S.

“It is the most beautiful product that we have ever made, bar none,” Schiller said. Every year, Apple claims to introduce new versions of their product with better features and innovations that set a new bar for the gold standard in the phone market place.

The phone prides a larger, more advanced 16:9 widescreen display, measuring four inches diagonal. At 326 pixels per square inch, the iPhone 5’s contains 1,136 x 440 pixels with a 44 percent better contrast ratio than the previous model. Dubbed the “Retina Display” by Apple, the display’s pixel density is so dense, that it is impossible to distinguish individual pixels with the naked eye.

The phone also comes with a new wireless system with the ability to connect to 4G and LTE networks. 4G and LTE are currently the most up-to-date systems of cellular wireless technology. They allow connected devices to downlink almost seven times as fast as 3G does at a whopping 100 megabytes per second.

The iPhone 5 comes in two colors, black with a slate trim, or white with a silver trim. Each color comes in a 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB model, which are priced at $199, $299, and $399 respectively. The iPhone 5, along with the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4, is also available on all major U.S. Carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. It can currently be pre-ordered on Apple’s website and does not go on sale until Friday, Sept. 21.

According to Apple, the iPhone is the number one smartphone in the world. It is extremely popular, especially among younger age demographics. Finding a college student on a college campus who owns an iPhone is incredibly easy. Not all students, however, are nibbling on Apple’s iPhone 5 fishing line.

Christopher Cosio, 21, is a Nutritional Sciences major at UNH. He currently owns the iPhone 4, and he really likes his phone. However, he is not a fan of the new iPhone 5. Cosio recently bought is iPhone 4, which is now 2 generations older than the current iPhone 5. He can’t imagine buying a new phone already.

Toria Sicard, a junior studying medical micro biology, also owns an iPhone 4. “It’s really fun,” Sicard said. Sicard likes the improved screen size of the iPhone 5, but she, too, would not go out to buy it. “I don’t buy my phones, though. I get them for Christmas.”

Elizabeth Cardin, a chemical engineering major, does not own a smart phone unlike many other college students. She had heard about the new iPhone announcement from one of her friends, but honestly couldn't care less. “I would never buy it,” Cardin said, “it’s completely overpriced, and my current phone still works.”

Does This Qualify as an Alternative Lead?

Victoria Arlen is a senior of Exeter High School who won a gold medal and three silver medals swimming at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

Great achievements do not come without monumental sacrifices.

Arlen suffers from transverse myelitis, a rare neurological virus that causes inflammation in her spine. Treatments have saved Arlen’s life from a near death parilysis from the waist down. However, 
 the paralysis in her legs is irreversible.

Gov. John Lynch dubbed Friday to be Victoria Arlen Day throughout the state of New Hampshire. Lynch will attend EHS’s scheduled Spirit Week Pep Rally on Friday Sept. 21 to present Arlen with an epic speech.

This story is courtesy of The Seacoast Online.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Does Seán Moreau Feel Like a Journalist? Maybe

Seán Moreau (or Sean. I prefer the idiosyncratic á). Could that possibly be the name of someone great — like the next-generation Anderson Cooper great? Maybe, who knows. I do have to keep my ego out of writing articles, of course.

I am a writer; writing, to me, is my greatest skill. I use words in the same way that an artist would use paint. Therefore, I consider myself as an artist, as I precisely carve words into such phrases to tell a wondrous, and true, story on my computer screen canvas. That was pretty philosophical, eh? (That’s why I’m a philosophy minor).

But, do I feel like a journalist? Well, since journalists technically write for publishable newspapers and magazines, I do not feel like a journalist. This “Writing and Reporting the News” course, however, makes me feel as if I am a private investigator, and it is my job to dig deep into other people’s business to write something juicy. But, wait-a-minute. Isn’t that what the writers of People magazine do? I do want to write juicy material, but not gossip. Writing juicy stories feels satisfactory — to an extent. 

Journalism is a lot more difficult than I originally expected. It allots for exuberance amounts of research to remain unbiased, fair and professional. I feel like I am very underprepared and immature to be taking a course that is so demanding, but it comes with the territory, I suppose.

I would say that the most difficult part of journalism is gathering accurate, impartial facts, as well as interviewing people. Obtaining interviews can be somewhat intimidating and cumbersome, but it is worthwhile in the end. Interviews allow great material to come forth into the media from the everyday individual.

The easiest part of journalism is obviously the writing. As an “English” major, I am very confident in my writing capabilities and my skills to craft an exceptional piece. Like I said above, I am an artist, and words are my ultimate medium to sculpt into something beautiful and worthwhile.

What surprises me the most about journalism is how challenging it is. One has to make sure to be up to date on all current information, since it can change rapidly — especially if it is a current event. Additionally, it surprised me that modern journalists are so keen on digital journalism by means of blogs, social networking, and editing photography and videography along with their writing. I guess I’ll have to remain as techie as possible.

Journalism entails diligence and vigor. If I work hard, maybe I can get a good job, and possibly win a Pulitzer Prize. That would be more than enough to make me happy with my success. And, if I don’t win anything... Well, at least I enjoy writing. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Wish Newspaper Articles Could Be Like Writing Blogs — It’s a Safer Route.

So, since I am writing a Blog (which is basically like writing down my own thoughts, or talking to myself — creepy), I was wondering: Why can’t Newspaper articles be like blogs, and vice versa?

I guess for something to be newsworthy, it has to be news. But what does News mean? The New Oxford American Dictionary that is built into my Mac reads, “[News is] newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events.”

Well, I guess that answers my question. Blogs, then, are not news. To go into further detail, they are defined as “A personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis.”

Interesting. News is not an opinion. News is facts. Although opinion can include meaningful statements (which can be either true or false) and non-meaningful statements, blogs allow an informal way of communicating to readers. Blogs also do not involve the over exaggeration of biased, propagandized stories that most “news” articles do.

I like that blogs are like any other form of non-fiction writing (or fiction writing for that matter). One does not have to write about what people want to read, or write a story in a particular style so it sucks the reader in. If someone wants to read my piece, that’s great. If they don’t, then whatever. It’s their choice. I’m not trying to force anything onto anyone. My blogs are my thoughts, right?

I like writing about what interests me and what is relevant to me. I honestly do not care who reads my blogs. I view my writing like sermons in a church; one has the option to read it and get something out of it. Or, one does not have to read it at all.

Maybe I am just ignorant.

But then again, I want to work in the publishing industry. What do I know?