Smartphones and tablets: the death and rebirth of traditional television

In the 1950’s the American family would gather around the television Leave-It-To-Beaver-style and enjoy all four channels they could pick up. Today, HD, cable, satellite and online television subscriptions have dramatically altered our choices for shows. Too bad no one’s watching them on that fancy flat-screen.

The younger American now wants their favorite shows in their hands. (Because they didn’t sit close enough before?) An article on Bloomberg shows how traditional television is suffering from an increasing rise in tablet and smartphone-only usage among younger viewers.

“The four major broadcasters have suffered a collective 7.2 percent drop in traditional TV viewers this season. They are introducing services to meet viewers’ demands for shows on tablets and smartphones, and they want that audience counted.”

In a way, this shows  the metaphorical and literal death of the American television viewer. The mentality of “there’s only one place to get my shows” is dead.  Instead of having to wait for their show, or fiddle with that fancy VCR they never could get the time right on…they can live stream it to their phone or tablet, or download it from places like iTunes or Amazon Prime.

But this doesn’t mean the end for networks, cable and satellite television. It’s being reborn with the move to the handheld devices. However, that signals a shift in medium rather than content. Like newspapers, they won’t be printed forever but they will exist online. (Where else would television news get their stories?)

Subscription-based show viewing like Netflix and Hulu, I argue, have set the standard for what we’ll see in the future as far as television show viewing goes. HBO has already made their web-presence with HBO Go, which is set up in similar fashions to Netflix and Hulu.

The TV won’t disappear for quite a while. After all, where will guys gather to drink beer and watch the Sunday game? Not at Jimmy’s soccer game…well not yet anyway.

Chatty Cathys and Negative Nancys: Are women more aggressive users of Twitter in House of Representative Campaigns?

Note: This was done in part for a class at Sam Houston State University in the political science department. Full results of the project can be found here:


Women have had a struggle from day one in the United States. They weren’t allowed to vote until the 1920’s. They hold a growing yet small number of seats in Congress. To change this, female candidates have grown in number (Manning and Shogan, 2012) and are taking to new media platforms, like Twitter, to help, in part, spread their message. Because women start out from so far behind, do they act differently on Twitter than their male counterparts? More specifically, are they more aggressive in campaigns in an attempt to catch up to become part of the political elite? This article will investigate the relationship between gender and the style of use of the micro-blogging platform Twitter. Specifically, I expect that women are more aggressive on Twitter than their male peers in these campaigns. To define aggressiveness for the purpose of this article; I will look at the number of tweets in which candidates attack and the number of tweets they publish.

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Boy Scouts delay decision on lifting until May

The Boy Scouts of America will delay their decision on whether to allow gays to participate openly participate in activities.

The announcement comes on the heels of heated national discussion for the past few weeks on the issue, culminating in a much anticipated (non)decision.

“In the past two weeks, Scouting has received an outpouring of feedback from the American public,” said the BSA’s national spokesman, Deron Smith. “It reinforces how deeply people care about Scouting and how passionate they are about the organization.”

The American Family Association and Family Research Council have been pushing hard against the measure, even supporting petitions to have the AT&T president and BSA board member Randall Stephenson step down due to his “pro-homosexuality” agenda.
A study done at Quinnipeg University shows that 55 percent of the American public support the decision to allow gays.

AFA’s Bryan Fischer says gays serving in military will lead to draft, dead women

In his radio show “Focal Point”, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer said that allowing gay persons to openly serve in the military will cause a nationwide draft and dead women.

The radio show entitled “Our message to the BSA(Boy Scouts of America): don’t let the bullies of big gay win”, Fischer gave listeners the phone number to the BSA to call and advocate against allowing gays to actively participate in the organization. Continue reading

Boy Scouts attacked by anti-gay groups for potential lift on gay ban

These two parts of the Boy Scout code are the provisions that BSA administrators say gay and atheist boys are not allowed to actively participate in the group.

These two parts of the Boy Scout code are the provisions that BSA administrators say gay and atheist boys are not allowed to actively participate in the group.

Less than a day after the Boy Scouts of America publicly announced they were considering lifting a ban on gays and lesbian participation, several religious institutions were already lashing out.

This includes the president of the Family Research Council Tony Perkins, who was none-too-happy with the declaration made on Jan. 28. Continue reading