Boxing Team to compete in Tallahassee! (article in the Alligator)

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Members of the University of Florida Boxing/Kickboxing Club will compete this weekend against six other Florida schools. See full article here:

Facebook Article in the Alligator

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Article published in the Independent Florida Alligator:

Original Article here:

If you haven’t already reposted the status update attempting to regain control of everything you’ve ever shared on Facebook – don’t. It won’t work. Accepting the terms of service upon signing up for the social networking site cannot be undone.

The status updates claim users’ copyright over the contents they’ve shared on Facebook and requires written consent from the individual user before Facebook can use the material. It has been copied and pasted so many times it’s like a newsfeed chain letter. But it is false.

The status update cites international law – the Berne Convention, though misspelled as ‘Berner,’ – and Uniform Commercial Code as protections against violating user’s privacy. But Clay Calvert, a University of Florida journalism professor and director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project, and who holds a both a law degree and a doctorate in communication, said it’s not a matter of either of those, it’s a matter of contract law.

“This is much more of a symbolic protest than one that has any legal effect, despite what people would like to believe or think they know,” Calvert said.

When setting up an account with Facebook, soon-to-be users must accept the terms of service. If they actually read them, they’d know that Facebook has the right to use the information shared on the site. Facebook claims a “non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license” to use any intellectual property content when the user chooses certain settings.

This doesn’t mean Facebook “owns” what’s shared – but it can disclose the information, which may include users’ GPS locations, to advertisers to more effectively direct ads their way. Information associated with an account may be kept even after it is deleted.

The Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities “is our terms of service that governs our relationship with users.” A status update cannot trump the terms of service that each user agreed to when signing up for site, Calvert said. It was a choice to sign up and it is a choice to continue to use Facebook – but only under their terms.

It’s like leasing a car, Calvert said, you can’t negotiate the terms by putting a sticker on it claiming your rights after you’ve signed the contract. You’re bound to that lease.

“The big picture is that Facebook users did not realize that they were giving away their rights,” Calvert said.

Now that they’re realizing this they’re trying to get them back. But the sheer number of people who repost that status doesn’t make it enforceable. Facebook also maintains the right to update their terms of service, and to continue using Facebook is to accept the changes, according to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. But who actually reads the terms of service?

“I know that I don’t read them, ever,” said Moriah Geier, an 18-year-old UF dance freshman, not only referring to Facebook’s terms, but iTunes and any other terms

and conditions one has to accept by ‘clicking the box’ on the internet. She reads them more on paper. She saw her friends posting the copied status, but didn’t believe her rights could be changed by a status update.

This wave of statuses followed a revision this month to the data use policy, which includes the information Facebook collects and how it may use that data. A similar message spread earlier this year following Facebook becoming a publicly traded company, but that has nothing to do with users’ privacy. Facebook can change the terms if notice is provided, which is done by posting the change on the Facebook Site Governance Page, and providing an opportunity to comment.

Adjusting your privacy and application settings controls how some content and information is shared, but some information like your name, profile picture and networks will always be public.

“It’s just become our everyday way of communicating,” said Kayla Marcus, 19-year-old UF dance freshman. “We don’t realize it’s so public.”

Duct Tape, Barrels and Blood

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Meet Dexter. Blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police. SPOILER ALERT! He also kills people on the side. (Kinda twisted that people watch this Showtime series religiously, eh?)

This is Deb, Dexter’s non-blood-related sister. She was sort of in love with his biological brother, the Ice Truck Killer, and he duct taped her to a table, hoping Dexter would kill her.

This is one of the creepy dudes that stuck girls in barrels in a swamp. Dexter’s “code” states he can only kill ‘bad people’ — this guy would be one of them.

Dexter first sticks a syringe in his victims so he can strap them to a table without a fight. This is that syringe, that another ‘lab geek’ at Miami Metro is holding.

This is another one of the serial-killer-type creepy dudes Dexter has killed.This is Lumen and Dexter. Lumen was one of the girls that would have ended up in a barrel if Dexter hadn’t stepped in. Dexter helped Lumen avenge herself and the other girls and then she went back to wherever it is she came from.

This is Sgt. Dokes, he was a cop with Miami Metro police during the first season before he was killed. He was the only cop ever onto Dexter’s secret.

Dexter has killed a lot of people, most of them tend to be creepy men doing sick, repulsive things to women, like cutting them up. This is another killer that would’ve fit Dexter’s “code” of people he can take out.

Its crazy how much this guy actually looks like Dexter. Especially with that grin…
Dexter puts plastic up to ensure he doesn’t leave any evidence whenever he kills someone. He also wears rubber gloves and an apron, and usually his classic brown shirt.
This is Rita. Dexter’s wife, who was murdered in a bathtub by a serial killer Dexter was trying to kill. She is blonde and there was blood.

And this is a little extra, because I did it anyway…It’s Hannah McKay…the only girl who loves and understands Dexter, because [SPOILER ALERT!!!] she is a killer, too. But she kills with poison from a purple flower.

A Journey through Light

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The “Specialized Journalistic Photography” course I signed up for this semester turned out to be a lighting course. Who knew, right? I didn’t even know this class existed until I was in it. After a ton of assignments based on what seemed totally unknown to me, this is what I’ve got:

This will go by order of  -my favorite- not necessarily sequentially.

The assignment was fashion-based. Lighting: 2 to 3 flashes. Harsh. Urban. I went to the sketchiest place I know, and that is downtown Jacksonville (DUUUVAL!). Murder-rate’s too high to post here ’cause its going up as I type!
Title of the Shoot: You know its Urban when it Smells Like…
My next-favorite assignment was the first one: natural lighting. Open-shade. Overcast. Or direct sunlight.

Next assignment: learning subtractive lighting. With a flash. Dun dun dun… Set the shutter speed to 1/30, 1/60, and 1/125. Same photo, different shutter speed. After getting the ISO in ballpark, of course.
Title: (The Apocalypse IS Now–) Newspaper Downpour
For the sports portrait assignment, I took a flashlight to the rock gym and set the shutter speed to 20 seconds. It took a while to get this first shot, so I took some non-motion ones as well, but the green of the walls in that place isn’t too pleasant for still portraits so I’ll continue onward with more flash-light-lit photos.

It was called painting with light, where every photo turns out blurry. Kind of a drag due to how uncomfortable it is for models to stand still between 20-30 seconds so I could paint them with a flashlight for 36 different shots. Some of the photos turned out pretty cool though. (Solution, masochistic models? Or -purposely- blurred photos!) Rule: include sky.
Title of shoot: Dreamland to Terrorscape

Fashion. We had models come in with a bunch of clothes, shoes and accessories. We dressed them up and shot them for 15 minutes with power of three lights.

Another assignment was another one light portrait. (Because we did so terribly the first time around) This was originally called Hippies, Grunge & Samurai, but I cut the second two. We also practiced subtractive lighting.

Some of us used foil, others actually went out and bought reflectors…for the reflecting natural light assignment. I didn’t have any cool title for this shoot but now that I’m posting the pics up here I’m thinking “A Jungly Fairytale.”

Woh, woh, woh. Scratch that. The title of this set of photos is obviously “Welcome to the Jungle.” (we’ve got fun and games!)

Lastly, we’ve got food. Not my favorite to photograph because I’d much rather be eating it. We used a flash in class and put tablecloths all over the desk to make the food portraits a bit more snazzy. And I call this one, “You Don’t Use a Butter Knife to Slice a Tomato.”

Wow, we really accomplished a lot this semester. I feel like I’ve done the most work ever this semester but it’s gone by the fastest.

Navy-Marine Corps Classic

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The Navy-Marine Corps Classic held on the USS Bataan on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, made it to halftime before it was called.

 The condensation on the court caused concern for the University of Florida and Georgetown basketball players.

The condensation did not disrupt the sailors re-enlistment on the court with the secretary of the Navy during breaks in the first half, or the firework display at halftime.

London Calls, Again!

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Hooray for long distance communication! I received this wonderful email from Adeline, who I wrote about in my blog during my London experience. It made me feel really good about writing, meeting new people and doing what I’m doing, here it is:

Hi Rachel,
I hope that you are well and that you remember me – we met by Regents Park Road bridge while you and Bailey were in London, High and Dry, Asian-looking girl with big guitar…

I’m so sorry it has taken me so long to write to you to thank you for the amazing post you wrote.  I feel very honoured to appear on your blog.  You write beautifully and your photos are vividly story-telling.  What a wonderful blog, and thank you!

I read the post the day you published it but then Cassy and I were in Malaysia visiting my family for the whole of July so things were manic just before, just after, and during.  I am so sorry again for not writing to thank you before now.

I have enjoyed reading your blog and keeping up with all your adventures.  Are you missing Europe?  I’m sure it’s nice to be back with your family and in the sun!  It’s currently raining here in London.

Meeting you that day by the bridge made me think a lot about what I want to do with the music and what I want to get out of it.  So since then, I have set up a website - - on which I have made a link to your website, I have taken the giant leap of joining Twitter – @buskerbridge – and I am starting to record my own songs as well as the covers I sing under the bridge (thank you for giving me this idea when you asked me if I had any of the covers available online).  I have come to the conclusion that I want to be a pop star (I get a lot of stunned looks and muffled giggles when I tell people this!) so I’m striking while the iron is hot.  Thank you very much for being a very big part of the impetus to get going.

I hope that all is well at your end.  I would love to keep in touch, although this probably sounds very rich from the one who took two months to make contact to thank you!  Please say hi to Bailey for me.

Take care.