Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Radio Drama.

Monica Hunt
Radio Drama
Theater of the Mind
Storytelling is such an important part of life. If your story you’re telling comes off as bland, it can lose the interest of whoever is listening. Storytelling in radio drama is the foundation of what makes a good radio drama. Radio drama takes a lot of dedication, work, and time to create a story worth listening to. Unlike TV or magazines, radio has to lure in listeners with it’s sound effects, production, audio quality, and story. There are so many modern movies people enjoy simply for the special effects. Not the quality of the story. That’s what makes radio drama so unique, you get attracted to the story based on the purest form or storytelling and the world it creates with it’s sounds.

Listening to Radio Drama

Radio drama has its own way to capture imagery in the listener’s minds. The entire production tries to cover all senses as best as possible. Music sounds, and vocals are all very important. It lets you feel what the setting is, rather having to see it. If something is sad, then sad music will play, and so forth. I enjoyed the music because it sets the tone very well. It covers all bases very well. Sounds are all vital. While people can be familiar with jingle bells, or water running, it’s nice to gain a visual even though you already know what it looks like. The voice actor himself has a very approachable voice and you wouldn’t mind listening to him at all. You can literally be familiar with everything just by listening to it. Sometimes you can even feel familiar with everything and it’s always nice to relate to something. He would describe things to the fullest detail. For instance, even though we know what snow is, it’s interesting how far you describe the snow even though it’s just white. You explain every bit about it, like how it tastes or how it feels. I think it would have been smoother if he placed all of the sounds together for a complete story, so we don’t have to break our attention so easily. Television and film makes it so that the visual is there for you. They’re not expecting you to use your imagination; they’re giving you the imagination from their own minds. Radio drama allows you to create imagery. What’s interesting about it is that everyone will come up with their own story in their mind. No one’s thoughts will ever be the same as the other person, which is why radio drama is its own art form, and should continue to be used in any way.

Listening to Radio Drama

Jacki Bubis
Radio Drama
Episode 7: Be Good of Cheer

I think the key to radio drama is simplicity and structure. The sentences do not run on and the body of the story is smooth without being dragged out. The words, sometimes comical, but always moral gave the listener a sense of wonderment, which kept my attention throughout. I must also pay attribute to Tim Slover—he was a wonderful narrator, whose soft voice and engaging accent was perfect for the Christmas tale.
            I felt as though I was a child again and hearing a bedtime story while listening to this piece. It’s acted out subtly and conversationally. I couldn’t picture it as a film, for the format in which the story was told was overall storyteller, thus there wasn’t the screenplay structure. For me, it was more like someone performing a monologue on stage, rather than a sitcom or something you would see on the big screen. It had the right amount of background music and sounds, where it took your attention when it needed to, then assimilated into the background. Overall, it was different in its form and required much more imagination.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Listening to Radio Drama

I listened to the first episode in The Christmas Chronicles: A Christmas Radio Drama in 8 Episodes and thoroughly enjoyed it. Tim Slover’s writing and narration creates an engaging story clearly illustrated with his words. My favorite part about this radio drama is that Slover uses very descriptive and poetic words to create an image. But he doesn’t over describe details; Slover leaves room for the listener’s imagination to create a personal and unique world. In addition to being poetic, Tim Slover is also a great storyteller. In the short 27 min piece about Santa Clause, he created a dynamic and engaging piece. There was suspense around every corner with occasional touches of comedy.

The Radio Drama medium is an interesting one because it is such a simple art form. I thought of how I would react to this story if it was a film and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t last for 3 min if it were in a different medium. Sometimes film and television can be a sensory overload. There are sounds, flashes, sound effects, dialogue, soundtrack, commercial interruptions, and continually changing camera angles that disorient and distract. With this radio drama, the story was simple and straightforward.  I could actually tune out my other senses and just focus on listening and creating the images in my head. I really enjoy the radio medium.
Zachary Cieslak
Honey Bee Commentary

The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the variety of plants surrounding us all have to be pollinated by someone. But what would happen if that someone was suddenly extinct? Honeybees in the United States are disappearing from their hives at a scary rate. Nearly 1 million hives are disappearing each year. According to the USDA, “This is the biggest general threat to our food supply.” For years, the sharp decline in bees has been a mystery. But within the last year, scientists have unmasked the culprits.

Pesticides and genetically modified foods that help to increase the life of the plants are actually harming the honeybees. Chemicals absorbed by plants are secreted in the nectar that honeybees use to make honey. The unnatural nectar causes a destruction of the nervous system within the bees causing disorientation and an inability to find their hive. Big business pushes the findings under the rug to keep costs of food low while the beekeepers feel the burn. This is another instance of humans accidentally causing a major shift in the biosphere. While some may see this as a small issue, honeybees are the foundation of our agricultural economy. Without the honeybees, we will inevitably see a food shortage in the United States. So we can sit back and watch the downfall of honeybees and our economy or put an end to our genetically modified plants and harmful pesticides.

Snowden Publicity

Nicky Quiles
Snowden Publicity

Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday after three weeks held in a Moscow airport trying to avoid prosecution in the United States on espionage charges.
Snowden is seeking permanent refuge in Latin America after leaking details of U.S. government surveillance programs, but has not risked taking any flight that might be intercepted by the United States since flying in from Hong Kong on June twenty-third.
Although the acts of Snowden are having very large affects on the lives of every American, It has become increasingly harder to find news stories about the former N.S.A. agent. Every time there is a new story about Snowden there seems to be something else in the news that is more important. Most recently it has been the Zimmerman trial, but it has also been Chicago homicides, Derrick Rose’s injury update, riots in reaction to the Zimmerman trial, and the upcoming return of the Twinkie.
I understand that some of those stories are actually important, but too many times are there stories of less importance than the N.S.A. scandal. Some of the stories affect a few, and some affect a lot, but what is going on wit the N.S.A. affects everyone.
I urge the American public to pay attention to all the news about the N.S.A. and Snowden. I also would like to see the American news company broadcast more about it. For a country that boasts about freedom, the surveillance program known as the N.S.A says the opposite.

I’m Nicky Quiles and this is the Unknown News Broadcasting, goodnight and goodbye.

Commentary - Red Wings To The East

Brian Woodworth
Detroit Red Wings To The East - Commentary Assignment
Time (1:30)

A lot of people are still huffing and puffing about the newest realignment of the NHL, sending the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Eastern Conference. I can understand why some teams such as the Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks would be upset, Phoenix being that three-fourths of the fans at Red Wings/ Coyotes games are Red Wings fans and it’s probably the only time they sell out, and also the Blackhawks because that’s a natural rivalry AND because it leaves the Hawks as the only Original Six team left in the West, but the move had to happen.

For starters, my personal reason starts because I’m from Detroit and I remember staying up until ten o’clock at night waiting for the Wing’s and whatever west coast team game to START and it wouldn’t FINISH until the early morning- and that was if it didn’t go into overtime! Detroit and Columbus are the only Eastern Time Zoned, Western Conference Team. It didn’t make any sense.

The second, and most logical reason, this should probably be before my own personal motives, but the move of Atlanta to Winnipeg meant that a change HAD to happen. Winnipeg couldn’t continue to compete in the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference, playing teams like Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay and Washington. Their travel distance to play an away game against the Florida Panthers, who are located in Miami, FL, is two thousand two hundred and forty two miles. In 2012, the Jets played the Panthers three games at Florida and 3 games in Winnipeg. That’s just over thirteen THOUSAND miles traveled. A little absurd if you ask me.

Okay, so one team HAD to move to even out the sides, but why two? Simple: opens up the possibility for 2 expansion teams in the west! With the hype for a basketball team back in Seattle, I could see a good fit for a team there and why not another team in Salt Lake City?

This was a decision that was a long time coming and as a Red Wing fan, I am glad to see it finally happen!

Documentary - Helping The Homeless

Brian Woodworth
Homeless Documentary
Time (2:00)

ME: I was walking home from some sort of activity one late afternoon with my friend Megan when a man approached me. At first I thought he was asking for directions, which I’m always happy to help with. It took a little while before I realized what the man was talking about.

HOMELESS MAN 1: Can you help me get home?

ME: He said. Sure, where you trying to get to? He said some city…

HOMELESS MAN 1: In Indiana.

ME: Well, I think you can catch the Metra train a few blocks over on Michigan Ave, but I’m not very familiar with it.

HOMELESS MAN 1: Well, that’s the thing.

ME: And this is when he began to tell his story.

HOMELESS MAN 1: I came up here from Indiana to meet some friends for a concert…

ME: He said. His friends were from Milwaukee, or something like that.

HOMELESS MAN 1: And I parked my car to go to the show. I went out to the bars after the show with my buddies and then we went someone’s apartment to continue the party. At the party, my friend’s ended up ditching me after I had passed out in the house I was in. I woke up to find my whole wallet and backpack full of goods stolen. I have nothing, no money, no ID, and no way to get home.

ME: I remember thinking, ‘this man’s story is crazy enough that it might actually be true’.

HOMELESS MAN 1: Without an ID, I can’t claim my car and I have no money to get back to Indiana. I was able to make a call to my dad and he said,

ME: This part I remember vividly.

DAD 1: Son, if anyone is nice enough to help you out and get you some money to get back here, get their information and I will be sure to send them reimbursement for the money and a very big thank you note!

ME: The man told me he needed forty dollars for a ticket. At that moment, I decided to help him. Some may think I was stupid, but I had a gut feeling he really needed help. I already accepted the fact I wasn’t going to get the money back, but I thought a thank you note from him or his father and word of his return would suffice. So, I went to the bank, withdrew the money from my account while he waited outside, walked back out, gave it to him along with my email address and wished him luck. His gratitude for the help was sincere and I had really felt good about what I’d done. We parted ways and that was the last I saw of the man. That was over 2 years ago. I now feel very differently about helping people out.


ME: I stood waiting for the Mega Bus on South Canal Street and I’ve been there many times. I don’t remember one time standing there and not being approached by a homeless person looking for spare change, or CTA cards. Just this past week, July fifth, I was standing waiting for my bus to Detroit when an older gentleman approached me. He said something to smart small talk with me. Then HE too went into his story.

HOMELESS MAN 2: I’m a war vet and teacher of 20 years and I got laid off and don’t have any money to get back home- can you spare some change?

ME: I specifically replied, I’ don’t have any cash on me’. Which WAS a lie, but if I had wanted to give him any, it would have meant pulling out my wallet for him to see that I have credit cards, twenty-dollar bills, etc. It was too risky.

HOMELESS MAN 2: Oh okay.

ME: He said and began to walk away, but he turned back after taking a few steps and said this to me...

HOMELESS MAN 2: Ya know, I don’t want to judge you or nothing because that’s not my job, but I never left my house without any spare change in my pocket. I’m not saying you should give me your money, because that’s your money, but I wish you wouldn’t stand here and lie to me in front of God.

ME: And walked away. I was dumbfounded. I could have chewed him apart and boy did I want to. Who was HE to tell ME about lying? How do I know he’s not lying to ME about (in a sarcastic voice) needing money to get home? How do I know he wasn’t just another man scamming me like the last? (take a breath) I let it go, but it got me to thinking: never give homeless person money. And I don’t say that because it’s YOUR money and you shouldn’t help the needy… But money isn’t worth anything to someone REALLY in need. Buy the person food if they say they’re hungry. Bring a man socks, which did happen to me. Give a person a reusable, sturdy water bottle your not using anymore to refill with water. If they’re asking for money, you’re just giving them free range to with it as they please and that’s not helping anyone’s situation. That’s why I say, ‘never give a homeless person money’.


Brian Woodworth
Time (:20-:25 ea)


The director of operations of a north suburban restaurant on Monday said he doesn't believe any customers were victimized by a manager charged on allegations he stole identities to pay for his fixation with Walt Disney World.

Alexander Pera, 26, of Chicago was arrested July 2 and charged with aggravated identity theft, identity theft and money laundering, according to Lincolnshire police. Authorities said he took 15 trips to theme park resorts in a four-month period under false names obtained during his employment with Eddie Merlot's restaurant.

"We are very sad to learn of this isolated incident at this one location," restaurant spokesman Bruce Kraus told NBC Chicago on Monday. "Based on our preliminary investigation, we do not believe that any customer’s purchase of food or beverage was involved in the incident. Rest assured we will be going above and beyond to rectify the issue with any affected patron. We will continue to cooperate with authorities and remain vigilant."

Police, however, allege Pera stole the identities of at least 50 people, both customers and former employees, for a total of more than $50,000 during his time as manager of the establishment. Much of the money was spent on 15 different Walt Disney World Resort stays in five months, and two cruises aboard Disney Cruise Line this past spring, a statement from police said.

Pera facilitated the crimes by providing fraudulent information to the Disney Company and the airlines when making travel plans.
Police said his reservations would be made using false names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, and they were paid for with fraudulently obtained gift and pre-paid credit cards, purchases with stolen credit card numbers and cash.

Pera, of the 3800 block of North Ottawa Avenue, was arrested on his way to work and police found fake IDs, gift cards and a loaded handgun in his possession, a statement from police said.

In bond court on July 3, Judge Raymond Collins ordered Pera held in the Lake County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

The arrest was the culmination of a joint investigation started in late May by the Orange County (Fla.) Sheriffs office, Lincolnshire police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, police said.

Eddie Merlot’s was cooperating with the investigation as police sought other victims. Anyone who dined at the restaurant and later had their credit card compromised or was the victim of ID theft should call police at 847-913-2349.

A man was arrested after allegedly stealing the identities of fifty people, both customers and former employees of Eddie Merlot’s Restaurant. Police say the man was arrested in his car on his way to work and was in possession of fake IDs, gift cards and a loaded gun.
The restaurant, Eddie Merlot’s, is cooperating with police and anyone who has dined at the restaurant and later had their credit card compromised or was the victim of identity theft are urged to call police.


LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The death toll in Quebec's oil train disaster jumped to 13 people on Monday and police said about 37 more people were missing, a sign the derailment and explosion could be the worst accident in Canada since the Swissair crash of 1998.

Police said they estimated a total of around 50 people were either dead or missing after the gigantic blast destroyed dozens of buildings in the center of Lac-Megantic early on Saturday.

Previously they had said five people were dead and 40 were missing. Given the devastation in the town center, few residents expect any of the missing to be found alive.

The coroner's office asked relatives of the missing to bring in toothbrushes, hair brushes, combs and razors so specialists could extract DNA samples from strands of hair.

If the death toll does hit 50, that would make it Canada's deadliest accident since 229 people died in 1998 when a Swissair jet crashed into the sea off eastern Canada.

Asked when authorities would declare the missing people dead, police spokesman Benoit Richard replied: "When we find the bodies."

The runaway oil tanker train derailed in the town of 6,000 people shortly after 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, causing a huge explosion and deadly ball of flame.

Air brakes that would have prevented the disaster failed because they were powered by an engine that was shut down by firefighters as they dealt with a fire shortly before the calamity occurred, the head of the railway that operated the train said on Monday.

The train had been parked at a siding on a slope near the town of Nantes, which is 12 kilometers (8 miles) west of Lac-Megantic. The volunteer Nantes fire service was called out late on Friday night to deal with an engine fire on one of the train's locomotives.

Nantes Fire Chief Patrick Lambert told Reuters the crew had switched off the engine as they extinguished a "good-sized" blaze in the engine, probably caused by a fuel or oil line break in the engine.


The problem was that the engine had been left on by the train's engineer to maintain pressure in the air brakes, Ed Burkhardt, chairman of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA), said in an interview. As the pressure gradually "leaked off," the air brakes failed and the train began to slide downhill, he said.

The fire service said it contacted a local MMA dispatcher in Farnham, Quebec, after the blaze was out. "We told them what we did and how we did it," Lambert said.

Asked whether there had been any discussion about the brakes, he replied: "There was no discussion of the brakes at that time. We were there for the train fire. As for the inspection of the train after the fact, that was up to them."

It was not immediately clear what the MMA dispatcher did after speaking with the fire service. Burkhardt said the fire service should have also tried to contact the train's operator, who was staying at a nearby hotel.

"If the engine was shut off, someone should have made a report to the local railroad about that," he said.

Andre Gendron, 38, lives on a wooded property next to the rail yard in Nantes. He said he was burning a campfire outside his trailer on Friday night when he heard the fire trucks.

"About five minutes after the firemen left, I felt the vibration of a train moving down the track. I then saw the train move by without its lights on," Gendron told Reuters.

"I found it strange its lights weren't on and thought it was an electrical problem on board. It wasn't long after that I heard the explosion. I could see the light from the fires in Lac-Megantic."

Federal Transport Minister Denis Lebel said inspectors from his department had examined the locomotive on July 5, the day before the disaster, and found nothing wrong.

Canadian crash investigators say they will look at the two sets of brakes on the train: the airbrakes and the handbrakes. Members of the team are due to speak to reporters at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT) on Tuesday.

Burkhardt said that after the pressure leaked out of the airbrakes, the handbrakes would not have been strong enough to keep the train in place.

During the course of the day police relaxed the security perimeter around the center of Lac-Megantic, a lakeside town near the border with Maine. Authorities said that over the next few days around 1,500 of the 2,000 people who had been evacuated would be allowed to go back home.

One of the destroyed buildings was a music bar popular with young people, and witnesses reported fleeing the area around the building as the heat and flames closed in.

Montreal Maine & Atlantic is one of many North American railroads that have vastly stepped up shipments of crude oil as pipelines from North Dakota and from oil-producing regions in Western Canada fill to capacity, and the accident is bound to raise concern about the practice of transporting oil by rail.

(Additional reporting by Julie Gordon in Lac-Megantic; Writing by David Ljunggren and Janet Guttsman; Editing by Peter Galloway and Eric Walsh)

The death toll of the deadly train crash in Quebec, Canada has risen today to thirteen today and forty-seven are still missing. Police said they estimated a total of around fifty people were either dead or missing after the gigantic blast destroyed dozens of buildings in the center of Lac-Megantic early on Saturday.
Investigations continue as to the cause of the crash that happened early Saturday morning. Ed Burkhardt, chairman of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA), says brakes of the train are to blame.
Canadian crash investigators say they will look at the two sets of brakes on the train: the airbrakes and the handbrakes. Members of the team are due to speak to reporters at ten a.m. (1400 GMT) today.

A 12-year-old boy died after a canoe capsized in a northwest suburban retention pond Monday evening, authorities said.
Two teenagers were rescued from the Harvard pond after the boat tipped, but the 12-year-old was located by a dive team and pronounced dead shortly after, authorities said.
About 7:30 p.m., officials from the Harvard Community Fire Protection District rushed to the pond in the 800 block of Apple Valley Road after learning that a canoe had capsized.
One of the two survivors had been brought to safety by a bystander by the time firefighters arrived, Battalion Chief Daniel Danczyk said.
"The other one was still clinging to the canoe when we got here," Danczyk said."He was rescued by fire personnel."
Divers began searching for the canoe's third occupant, calling off the search about 8:30 p.m. when the boy was found, officials said.
The boy was taken to Mercy Harvard Hospital as paramedics continued efforts to save his life, Danczyk said. He was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after.

Two teenagers were rescued from the Harvard pond after their boat tipped, but unfortunately a third boy died. Authorities say a dive team found the twelve-year-old boy in a northwest suburban retention pond.
The boy was taken to Mercy Harvard Hospital as paramedics continued efforts to bring him to life, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The suspect in a double-stabbing in northwest suburban Crystal Lake last week was arrested today in Alabama, officials said.

Jimmy Bell Jr., who had been named in arrest warrants issued after a July 2 stabbing of a couple was arrested at 1 p.m. in Tuscaloosa, Ala. by members of the U.S. Marshal's Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force and Tuscaloosa, Ala. police, Crystal Lake police said in a press release.

Bell, 30, of Elgin was charged with two counts of attempted murder in arrest warrants, police said. Police said the stabbing was domestic-related but did not provide any more details.

At about 4:17 a.m.,  last Tuesday, Crystal Lake police where called to a home on the 1500 block of Isle Royal Circle for a report of two people being injured.

When police arrived they found that a 28-year-old woman and her 23-year-old boyfriend had sustained multiple stab wounds, police said. The suspect had fled the scene.

The two were initially listed in critical condition. The woman has since been released from the hospital while the man remains hospitalized. His condition has stabilized, police said.

Bell traveled to Alabama where he has family immediately following the incident in Crystal Lake, police said. He was arrested  in the home of a cousin. Bell is being held in the Tuscaloosa County Jail.

Officials say a man suspected in a double-stabbing in Crystal Lake was arrested in Alabama.
The stabbing, which happened last Tuesday, left a twenty-eight-year-old woman and her twenty-three-year-old boyfriend with multiple stab wounds.
Police say the two victims were listed in critical condition at the time, but since the woman has been released from the hospital and the man remains hospitalized in stable condition.