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December 09, 2009 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-12-09

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QUOTES OF THE WEEK
11What if she had eaten it or "When I see him starting
taken sick or died?" crying (those) things, I
- WANDA WHITE, a daycare worker in Baker, really feel bad for him."

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ABOUT CAMPUS

LLUSTRATION BY JOHN OQUIST

La., expressing her concern when she found a
$10 bag of marijuana stuffed-inside a two-year-
old girl's shoe. White had found the bag after the
child began complaining that her foot hurt, and
after confiscating it, White immediately called
both the police and Child Protective Services.

Michigan life,
accordingto MBlog
What the University's
blogging site tells about
campus life
Back when the University hired
student bloggers to attract pro-
spective students, entries were
limited to overly enthusiastic
testimonials from model Wolver-
ines. But the University's MBlog,
a blogging service for current stu-
dents and University faculty and
staff, offers another, more telling
side of the University experience.
With no guidelines dictating who
can write or what they can write
about, the website www.mblog.
lib.umich.edu is a smorgasbord of
everything from wacky campus
anecdotes to constructive lessons
on communication skills.
Some students use MBlog to
reflect on class subjects in entries
that are too personal for CTtools
responses but too academic for per-
sonaljournaling. One student in the
School of Art and Design uses her
blog, eye pea, as an online work-
shop to plan and chronicle her art
projects - such as the construction
of nine 7-to-12-foot moth costumes.
But the blogger also portrays cam-
pus through the eyes of an artist,
writing about the time she and a
stranger drew on the sidewalk with
chalk and the time she played Bob
Dylan on her ukulele with a street
musician on State Street. "I think
the minute I saw him playing I
understood realized (sic) that I was
not trying to get somewhere," she
wrote. "I was not racing the clock,
I didn't have a goal or desire other
than to be where I was at that exact
place and time."
other students use MBlog more
as a personal journal instead of

TALKING
POINTS

- MOHAMMAD SOHAIL, owner of a con-
venience store in Long Island, describing an
episode a few months ago when a man entered
his store with a baseball bat and demanded
money. Sohail pulled out a rifle, which prompt-
ed the man to start crying and say, "I'm sorry, I
have no food. I have no money. My whole
family is hungry...don't shoot me."

using a paper diary or a better-
known blog host. On a host site as
obscure as MBlog, one must won-
der how public the bloggers really
intend their writing to be. Take the
blogger behind "My Little Space
on the Web," who writes about
working as a secret shopper and
discovering her grandfather has
had a hair replacement operation,
but hardly receives a comment to
confirm any sort of readership.
The blog does express the
unpredictable nature of student
life at the University - even if
this blogger's life is stranger than
most. Recounting a free palm-
reading session, the blogger said
the psychic told her she needed
to see a doctor. Spurred by her
friend's superstition, the blogger
followed the psychic's advice and
found out she was experiencing an
ectopic pregnancy that could have
killed her.
If you're a fantasy sports fanatic
and spend all your time checking
up on the latest statistics, there is
an MBlog for you, too. Or, if you
like to deck out your dog in the
latest fashions for strolls around
Ann Arbor, an MBlog about stylish
dog carriers can tell you what's in
for your pet. For budding foodies,
there is an MBlog with recipes for
dishes like oriental coleslaw and
stir-fry. And if you're into insects,
there's also a blogger who posts
close and personal pictures of
creepy crawlers.
MBlog hosts many single-
entry blogs, too. Perhaps these
authors have a burning desire to
express just one particular pro-
found thought that's been itching
at their psyches for quite some
time. or maybe they tried out the
whole blog thing casually and for-
got to do it again - who knows?
But some of these one-hit won-
ders definitely add entertainment

value to MBlog. The
"Golden Fisticuffs"
blog, for instance,
contains as its sole .
entry an explana-
tion of the blog's
name. The blog-
ger reasons: "Why
Golden Fisticuffs?
'Fisticuffs' is my
favorite word. Gold-
en sounded OK with
it. That's about it."
Another single-post
blog that resonates
with poeticism con-
tains a single word:
"bleh." That one lit-
tle word does seem '1 -- cC
to say a lot.
Some blogs are
more informative
than others. For
instance, MBlog
hosts blogs focused
on drug importationp
laws, internship
opportunities, event
listings for students
interested in sta-
tistics, articles on
ways to quit smok-
ing and financial aid
advising. Schools at the University lib
like the Nursing School, the School stt
of Social Work and the School of Of
Information, as well as student sio
groups like MichigandEngineer- fin
ing Enotrepreneurs and Alterna-
tive Spring Break, use MBlog as ,tra
a resource to spread news and an
knowledge. You can even watch th,
podcasts from University alums wI
on the "True Blue Podsquad" blog. ge:
Certain classes require stu- In
dents to use MBlog as part of their up
assignments. On one such blog, a he
freshman blogger complains and fin
rants about her homework while les
she blogs as a requirement for that en
same class. Oh, the freedom of MI

1.
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CT )CT
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"I'll think about it."
- VLADIMIR PUTIN, 57-year-old former president and current prime minister of Russia, on whether
he will run for president again in 2012. Putin was speaking at an annual question-and-answer session,
during which he answered nearly 90 questions in a period of four hours.

eral arts classes! A high school
udent surfing the University's
fice of Undergraduate Admis-
ns blogs would definitely not
ad that.
Some use MBlog as an online
avel journal, posting pictures
d itineraries, and blogging about
e things that happened to them
hile they were abroad. One blog-
r who desperately tried to diet in
dia writes about how she ended
doing the exact opposite, when
r "little pudge at the end of
als ... morphed into a decidedly
ss cute bloated disaster." Appar-
tly, nothing is too personal for
Blog.

ILLUSTRATION BY JESS LAX
No matter what you are inter-
ested in reading, MBlog offers
a colorful range of perspectives
on the University experience.
Between personal anecdotes of
freak pregnancies, recipes for
home-cooked meals, information
on University schools and clubs
and tips for how to quit smoking,
MBlog seems to cover it all. With
the freedom on the Internet to
publish anything you see fit, it's
easy to see why so many decided to
take a chance and get their voices
out there. You can write whatever
comes to mind, and the best part is
that you can do it anonymously.
-MALLORYBEBERMAN

Three things you can talk about this week:
1, Climate talks in Copenhagen
2. Anesthetic execution
3. Surge in Afghanistan
And three things you can't:
1. Climategate
2. Foxy Knoxy
3. "Jersey Shore"
BY THE NUMBERS
The number of jobs lost last month, the lowest figure since
the recession started two years ago
The unemployment rate last month
The unemployment rate in October
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

YOUTU BE
VIDEO OF
THE WEEK
Voicemail with soul
By this point, the Tiger Woods
scandal has become banal and stu-
pid. The sad reality, though, is
that gossip-lovers will keep talk-
ing about it. Given this unfortunate
situation, you might as well look for
the more clever commentary on the
scandal.
This video is a good example of
an artful take on Woods's "trans-
gressions." Called "Tiger Woods
Voicemail Slow Jam Remix," the
video features a montage of pho-
tos and an R&B song set against
Woods's notorious voicemail mes-
sage, in which he asks one of his
mistresses, Jaimie Grubbs, no
change her voicemail message to
an automated greeting, just in case
his wife calls and hears her voice
on the message.
The video beginswith a picture
of the backdrop of a city at night.
Then Woods's face appears on the
screen, and the slow jam starts,
with the voicemail playing softly
in the background. "Hey, it's, uh,
it's Tiger," Woods says in a breathy
tone, while a chorus of voices
chimes in with "Name off your
phone...off your phone, she may be
calling you." Some of the chorus
members perform beautiful solos,
which makes Woods's plea seem
oddly sentimental, as if he doesn't
bear responsiblity for his own adul-
terous actions.
That may be the most amusing
part of the video.
BRIAN TENGEL

THEME PARTY SUGGESTION
"But is it art?" fair - Actor James Franco is in the
midst of a two-month stint on "General Hospital."
Why? Because when a movie star acts in a cheesy
soap it's art, at least according to Franco's editorial
in the Wall Street Journal. If you throw a gallery
event to exhibit your everyday activity, you can
claim it is performance art, too. Then you and your
friends can stand around asking each other the last
line of Franco's editorial: "But is it art?"
Throwing this porty? Let us know. TheStatement@umich.edu
STUDY OF THE WEEK
Loneliness can be infectious in social networks
Loneliness can be contagious and disseminate through social net-
works, according to a study published in the journal Personal and
Social Psychology by a group of professors. The researchers defined
loneliness as perceived social isolation, and they said it is not deter-
mined by how many people are around you.
For the study, the researchers used information from the Framing-
ton Heart Study, analyzing the data on the 5,124 people who are in the
second generation of study participants. The researchers made contact
with the group of people every two to four years, and asked them ques-
tions about loneliness, depression and other matters.
The researchers discovered that if a direct connection in your social
network is experiencing loneliness, you are 52 percent more likely to
have similar feelings of loneliness. Moreover, if you are either two or
three degrees removed from a lonely person, you are 25 percent or 15
percent, respectively, more likely toexperience loneliness.
- BRIAN TENGEL

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