Friday, January 24, 2014

Getting Doug with High

This is a Podcast that I found on YouTube called Getting Doug with High, made by a pro-marijuana advocate/comedian named Doug Benson. There are many different episodes already made, with a new weekly Podcast every Wednesday at 4:20 PM... go figure. On this Podcast, Benson interviews different comedians for forty five minutes while they sit around and smoke pot. It is very funny, that is, if you get into that kind of humor.

Ok, let's get to the point. There has obviously been a changing attitude towards marijuana use in the United States in the last ten years as we have seen with the medicinal marijuana laws, and most recently with the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in both Colorado and Washington. But why the extreme shift and changing attitude about the drug/plant? I think that social media has a great deal to do with it. First of all the grass roots movements like NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and SAFER (Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation), have taken up shop with all the different social networking sites and used them as a base for informing people about the truth with  marijuana laws and use. But it hasn't stopped there. There are posts all over different sites from the average everyday Joe that discredit the federal government's demonization of marijuana. I think that this has really opened the eyes of many Americans to the realities of the war on drugs, and how one sided and flawed it truly is, especially in the case of marijuana. This is a good example of how new media can present the truth in the form of direct democracy.    

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spark Notes

So I was thinking the other day about websites that I already use that fuse English and New Media together, and Spark Notes came to mind. I used this site quite extensively with my Early American Literature course, because obviously some of the early American literature can be very hard to follow. I would always read the summary and analysis before I read the different reading assignments, not to get out of reading the material, but because it would give me more of an idea what to look for in the text and gave me better understanding of what I was reading. Another really cool page on that sight is No Fear Shakespeare. Personally I did not know that I liked Shakespeare before I found this page, because I could not follow the old writing in the plays. In No Fear Shakespeare, the original text is on the left column of the page, and in the right column is the translation into contemporary text. So, not only does it have the contemporary text for us average everyday readers to comprehend what is happening, but since the two texts are side by side anyone can compare the two and get a better understanding of how to read that old crusty text.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Experience with New Media

I have had extensive experience with the Microsoft Office platform. I am very proficient with Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and have some experience with Publisher and SharePoint. I have basic knowledge of code writing with Visual Basic and with C, and have had training in In Design. With the military I work a great deal with Acrobat and Lotus Forms to fill out the ungodly amount of forms that we work with in our quaint bureaucratic system.

When it comes to Social Media, I tend to keep things as simple as possible. I do have a Facebook account just like the rest of the planet, but I do not use Twitter, Pinterest, or any other Social Media sites because I find it redundant. I am a member of two different forums. I am on the Grateful Dead forum on, so I can discuss all things Grateful Dead with like minded Deadheads. I also belong to a forum called S1net that deals with military personnel issues, like questions of how to complete certain paperwork, or discussing new policies that have recently been implemented. I do have a YouTube account and am kind of a junky when it comes to watching stupid videos. One other form of media that I use quite extensively is Sugar Megs and to download live shows from many different groups. I actually have an App on my IPhone where I can stream almost every Grateful Dead show that was ever recorded. I like this App a lot!

Some of my favorite sites for the convergence of English and New Media are the interactive sites found on many of the news organization websites, like New York Times, CNN, and believe it or not, even Fox News. Another site that I have played around with is an interactive site put out for Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday at anyone can go in, browse through, and read about his many different accomplishments. I am also being introduced to various sites in my Informatics class that deal with word clouds and analyzing different texts. I find it very interesting that I can analyze and break down texts or websites with just the click of a mouse. I think in the long run, these sites will be useful in analyzing and improving my own writing.     

I used to use MySpace before I joined Facebook. I'm sure the website is still there, but since no one really uses it anymore, I don't use it either. I don't really think I've tried to open up that account in probably three years. Maybe it's still there, who knows. One site that I used to use extensively was called This was an stupendous site where you could upload, or look at, examples of how certain military paperwork was supposed to be filled out. This site saved my hind quarters on many an occasion. Unfortunately I think some idiot put classified information on there, and the site was shut down, which still really ticks me off to this day.  

I guess I am not totally old fashioned after all...


Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Hello, my name is Dustin Drew and I am an English for New Media major at Dakota State University. I chose this major because I have always enjoyed reading and writing. I have a fascination with the novels and poems of the Beat Generation, mainly Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. I hope to use this major to pursue a career in multimedia web design, as there seems to be a fast growing market for people with these skills. I also chose this major to hone my own writing skills and eventually write a few books of my own.