Digital Media – The End.

Digital Media has possibly been one of my favorite classes. I have always been a huge fan of graphic design and something I have considered going into as a career or to study in college. This class combined journalism, graphic design, and many other details in writing and tips for yearbook that have all been a huge part of how I see things now. I can now critique and point out things in magazines that many people would not even notice. It is like I have a different eye for things now and is something that I can remember for a long time.

I loved how small the class was and how lenient Mrs. Huddleston was with due dates/work days. I have already recommended this class to many people that are interested in this kind of thing. If there were anything I would change about this class it would be that I think all the projects should be spread out. We had a lot of projects in the 2nd quarter and I think if they were divided up between the two it would have been as difficult.

This class has taught me a lot and I wish it could be a whole year. There is so much we could expand on with what we know now. I will keep up with this blog for my server members and subscribers and I have gotten a friend to start his own blog. Thank you Mrs. Huddleston for an awesome class!


Thanksgiving in the Beach Family

Thanksgiving is very laid back in my family, as is every holiday. We almost never have guests over and there usually aren’t many activities planned. Whenever there is a break, we enjoy it as best as we can and however we want. My older sister came in town and met up with all of her friends, my dad played with his new iPhone 4S for countless hours, I caught up on managing my server, my mom started Christmas shopping, and my little sister played with her friends.

Although, this year we did get something fun for the whole family, a Foosball table. It was what most of our break surrounded this year, and we have all gotten pretty good at it. On thanksgiving day we played Foosball, ate, went to a friends house where we played with them on their Foosball table. They talked us into getting one, and I am very glad we did. I think that Foosball competitions will be added to our small list of activities on Thanksgiving day and I hope we are much better by next year.

As for the meal: my sisters made homemade macaroni and cheese, my mom roasted the turkey in our crock pot, a my dad made the butternut squash soup and garlic green beans. That is a typical thanksgiving meal for us, but we had dessert when we went to our friends home.

We don’t usually stuff ourselves on thanksgiving, but this year, it wasn’t hard.

Foosball Table

This is similar to ours, but ours is way nicer.


My dad played with the new "Siri" app where you can give it commands.

Pecan Pie

My friends mom made this... *sooo good*

Issues in Journalism

Following our discussions on the First Amendment and free speech, we have entered the ethics and legal issues journalists face today. One obvious issue that comes to mind is lying or inventing your own quotes, situations, or flat-out stories, in the case of Stephen Glass. Although captions in yearbook are not even close to front page stories in the New Republic, its all the same thing. When you present your piece to your editor, you are showing that all that you have written is 100% true. As we have learned, fabricated information is not protected by the First Amendment and is probably the #1 rule that journalists, if I can call myself one, always need to keep in mind when they submit their stories, captions, quotes. Hopefully, none of the yearbook staff end up frantically building bad websites to cover fabricated stories, in which case they would need to go through years of mental therapy. Anyway, this was a really interesting story and I can’t wait to see what follows this in our Digital Media Class.

The First Amendment

In Digital Media, we are beginning a new section for this second quarter. We are starting out with The First Amendment and learning a bit about our rights that we have in the United States. The first amendment covers the five basic freedoms: Speech, Press, Religion, Assembly, and Petition.

It goes:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The First Amendment is the first of ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, which was added to the Constitution in 1791. The First Amendment shows some of the rights we have in speaking but there are somethings it does not protect such as:

Material that contains a morbid interest in nudity, sex, or excretion.
Material that describes or shows sexual conduct in a patently offensive way.
Material that lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
It also does not protect material that contains obscenity or indecency, material that tells a lie to damage or defame the reputation of a person or organization, or material that provokes illegal action or violence.

As part of learning about our rights stated in the First Amendment, we have been reviewing court cases that show what the First Amendment can do to protect you in court. I am interested to learn the other amendments, not only for the sake of knowing them, but so I can understand my rights.

Photo Collage

This week, in Digital Media, we finished up a project that we were working on. The project was to take pictures around the FRA school campus of objects, or things, that spell out FRANKLIN ROAD ACADEMY and our name. We could not take pictures of actual text, but we could use the same photos over again. This is what I did:

Photo Collage

Some of the pictures you have to think about for a while, and I did reuse a lot of pictures. If I could, I would spend more time getting different pictures rather than reusing.

Gojo Ethiopian Cafe

This is not one of my normal posts, but I figure I could mix it up a bit.

On a weekend in July my family and I went to this small Ethiopian restaurant, for my sister’s birthday, here in Nashville, TN. My older sister had heard about it and told us it was very “exotic” food we could get no where other than Gojo Ethiopian Cafe and Restaurant.

When we walked in it was very quiet, we were early for lunch, and we sat down. The building is fairly small with a side room, a main room with the entrance, the kitchen, and a bar near the cash register. It is cozy and smells like their signature tea, which is to die for. The room is decorated with pots and quilts on the wall.

When we sat down they brought us little cups to taste the tea because we heard it was great but wanted to try it. We all loved it. Their tea tastes a lot like cinnamon and a variety of other spices. When we were looking through this menu we decided to get the “Specialty Platter” that came with a vegetarian meal for my older sister, and other types of meat for everyone else. We didn’t really know what to expect so when we got it we were shocked.

The center of Ethiopian cuisine all fits around this soft flat bread called enjera. Enjera is a perforated bread that my family called “spongy bread” (we didn’t know the official name). When the dish arrived it had small servings of chicken, lamb, beef, and vegetarian food scooped and placed onto the enjera platter. What you do to eat it, without utensils, is tear off a piece of rolled up enjera and wrap the scoops of food in it.

I was really surprised when I tried it. The food was really good by itself and with the enjera. We learned when we were close to finishing the meal that it is traditional to eat the enjera your food was served on after you finish the meal. I thought this was really interesting because it felt like we were eating a plate our food was just served on.

The people there were really nice and the service was excellent. I have nothing to criticize it on and I am most likely going to return soon. I would give them a 8 out of 10 all around. Also, to add an extra bonus, they have a great website:

If you live in Nashville I would strongly recommend checking Gojo Ethiopian out. They are located on the corner of Nolensville Road and Thompson Lane.

Enjera Bread

Enjera "Spongy" Bread

The Computer I Am Building

For a long time I have wanted to build my own machine. I wanted something powerful, a beast. The computer I would build could “run NASA” and design jumbo-jets… and this summer, I saved up enough to just do that.

Unfortunately, my budget didn’t cover NASA’s specs and Boeing had to reconsider, but it is still a monster. At the time I knew little about building computers, but I knew the basics. It started when I wanted something that could actually process a video and upload it quickly. I was really into my YouTube Channel at the time and nothing was powerful that I had my hands on. I decided to check out TigerDirect for some cheap powerhouses. The only thing I could find was a little shy of $700, a goal that might take a couple of summers at my rates. Then I came across “barebones PCs” that you build on your own. A barebones PC is a little PC kit that comes with most of the parts in building a desktop computer. Fully customizable, this was just what I wanted. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was stepping in a big puddle and the water was coming through my shoes.

This is all I wanted, a barebones PC that I could equip with an arsenal of parts. You have the motherboard, the processor, the CPU fan, the RAM, the graphics card, the hard drive, the disc drive, etc., I was in heaven. To give it to you straight, I had myself focused on certain specs that could do anything I wanted. As time passes I can upgrade all these parts and keep my monster angry and hungry for more power.

After working an entire summer, 4 days a week, 3-4 hours a day, I came up with around $500. I know that is not that much for working the ENTIRE summer, but I did what any person would do, and try to enjoy their summer while they could. So, NO, I did not work everyday. Back to my point… With this money I had purchase the following parts:

1. GIGABYTE M68MT nForce 630a Socket AM3 Motherboard
2. AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition OEM Processor (3.10 Ghz)
3. Thermaltake CL-P0503 70mm CPU Cooler
4. Lite-On Internal 24X DVD Writer
5. ADATA 4GB DDR3-1333MHz Premier Series Desktop RAM (x2)
6. Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB Hard Drive (3.5″)
7. XFX Radeon HD 5570 1GB DDR3 PCIe 2.1 DirectX 11
8. DiabloTek Elite 450W PSU ATX Mid Tower Case

I ordered the parts Saturday, September 10, 2011. They arrived Tuesday night, around 6:15 pm. Sadly, I was sick Tuesday and Wednesday and did not get to touch it until Wednesday night. I put all the parts together, solving this hog of a puzzle, in about 2 hours (keep in mind this was my first time putting a computer together). I followed the motherboard and mid tower case instructions and had wired everything to exact details. I took it upstairs to my room to connect it to my monitor. The moment of truth…

I plugged in the power supply and connected the VGA to the back. Flipped the switch, hit power. My beast lit up in bright blue and red on the front, cheering with joy… but blank monitor. (insert sadface)

I immediately shut it off, hoping it wouldn’t explode. I grabbed the manual and briskly flipped through it. I power-read for a good 15 minutes and couldn’t figure it out. By about now it was almost 7:30 and I had a lot of homework still. I decided to put it out of my mind and figure it out this weekend.

This is where I stand. I couldn’t stop thinking about it this entire day and I will probably tweak with it tonight. I don’t want to, but if there is no solution, I may I have to accept defeat and take it to professional help. Which (1) I can’t afford (which means having to pay back my dad) and (2) WOULD BE SO WEAK OF ME!

I will look at it again tonight and pray to the gods of “Motherboard Manual” that there is one silly thing I missed that is kicking me in the shins.

If I figure anything out I will post a weekend blog post on what’s going on.

Thanks, Henry

My Barebones PC

Yeah I know the wires are messy... SHHHHhhh

XFX Radeon HD 5570 1GB DDR3 PCIe 2.1 DirectX 11

My Graphics Card (XFX Radeon HD 5570 1GB)