Reflection of Class

When I began this course, I knew some basic concepts of design. I was extremely rusty on HTML and hadn’t used FCP in six years. Suffice to say, I had forgotten a lot. The biggest thing I learned was how to navigate WordPress. I was completely ignorant of the site prior to this class. Within this course, I’ve learned how to put together a decent looking site and change variables around so that I wouldn’t be ashamed to give out the address of my site.
The most difficult thing I learned this semester was how to create a podcast. I had literally not used Audacity in ages and couldn’t, for the life of me, understand how to work within GarageBand. I’m glad I remembered enough from editing courses in high school to put basic things like fades into my work. I’m not sure if I’ll use podcasting in the future because I don’t want to be a journalist, I want to go into politics, but I’m glad that I know the gist of how to upload one, should I need to begin podcasting.

As social media become more pervasive, new media outlets such as Pinterest could be explored more in depth. I’m still unsure as to how we’re supposed to use it as an effective tool for finding news, but it’s an area that I could work on.
When it comes to reporting, I wouldn’t discount meeting people face to face or driving around a beat. So many stories online are recycled and rewritten ad infinitum. It seems as if there’s no real reporting going on anymore. Although using social media spices up pages, a well written story with clear copy can’t be beat.
As I become more familiar again with various editing programs, I definitely want to get into posting more professional looking videos to my account. As somebody who wants to go into politics, it seems as if stories and video are the two things I need to focus on as I build my site.

Summer fires hit Las Vegas

If you’ve watched the news in Las Vegas recently, you’ll notice a bizarre thing; fires are popping up all around the Las Vegas metro. Although it’s summer and the weather is dry, it seems as if there’s a new fire every few days. People have lost their homes, their pets and even their lives due to fires in our valley. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 3,500 Americans die each year in fires and approximately 18,300 are injured. Here are a few tips to protect your family against fires here in the Las Vegas valley.

According to FEMA, the summer months afford us more opportunities to cook for friends and family, with this opportunity comes dangerous cooking fires. These fires are the number one cause of structural fires during the summer and the second leading cause of fires overall.

May 2012 Las Vegas House Fire

When cooking, to prevent fires:

  • Make sure all cords are in good condition. Don’t use cords with frayed parts or exposed wires.
  • Don’t use extension cords for appliances as they could overload the circuit.
  • Clean the coils on your refrigerator and keep the unit away from the wall a few inches for air flow.
  • Keep grills away from the house and wet coals after use.
  • Do not squirt lighter fluid on an open flame.
  • Don’t leave cooking food unattended.

Fires increase by 60% on the 4th of July in the US so practice safe fireworks:

  • Don’t light fireworks in the grass. Only light fireworks on a gravel or concrete surface.
  • Keep water nearby to put out any smoldering ashes.
  • Don’t lean over fireworks and keep the wick pointed away from all people.
  • Don’t act as a wind-blocker to fireworks as this could cause clothing to ignite or death.

Taking heed of these tips can lead to a safer summer and a festive 4th of July. Use common sense and be cautious around fire.

House fires:

Recent Las Vegas fires:


Red Rock Canyon: A Cooler Experience

Want to experience Red Rock Canyon without the blistering heat of Las Vegas? Check out Red Rock Canyon in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Easy trails, gorgeous views – Red Rock Canyon has it all. With sweeping views of Garden of the Gods, snow covered mountains and lush wilderness, Red Rock Canyon is a feat for the eyes. Located just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado, locals and tourists alike can hike, bike and ride horses, surrounded by the pristine, natural beauty of this park.

Formed of sandstone and gypsum, the park originally was home to native tribes, such as the Utes, who were able to live in a safe, secure environment. Thanks to the high vantage point of the area, the tribes were able to see the valley below, yet were surrounded by steep rocks which served as buttresses. In addition to the security provided by the mountains, Fountain Creek provided an easily accessible source of water for both the people of the tribe and the abundant wildlife who shared the area.

As expansion of the country grew, and more settlers headed west, Red Rock Canyon became crucial for American expansionism. While railroads were beginning to cover more of the United States, more materials had to be found and refined to build towns for the railroad workers. With close proximity to the Colorado Midland Railroad and what is now Old Colorado City, sandstone and gypsum were mined from the area during the 1800‘s to be used to build the city for the booming railroad and mining town. Miners looking for gold came to the area during the Colorado Gold Rush and explored around the park. Unfortunately, none of the exploratory tunnels that were made in the park had any traces of gold. Apart from sandstone and gypsum, the park itself contains no economically-viable metals or minerals, although during the 1950‘s there was an unsuccessful search for uranium in the park.

In 2003, the City of Colorado Springs purchased the area and turned it into a public space. Blast sites are still visible as visitors meander through the 16 miles of easy trails at the park. With space for both bikers, hikers and horseback riders, visitors have a chance to explore the beauty of Red Rock Canyon in a variety of ways. Visitors needn’t stay on the horizontal to enjoy the park as there are 85 different routes that have been marked for climbers of all levels.

While my visit was during the winter – January, of all months, many of the trails had been cleared of ice and snow so people could enjoy the park in relative safety. This location affords even the cheapest of cameras, such as my old 8 mega-pixel point and shoot Olympus, the ability to shoot gorgeous photos.

If you’d like to “get back to nature” without the hassle of camping, come visit Red Rock Canyon ini Colorado Springs, CO to experience all the beauty of nature with the combined convenience of a park-like atmosphere.

Check out more of my photos of Red Rock Canyon.