The Interview

This week seemed to mark a monumental moment in movie history. Sony announced they would not be opening “The Interview” for release on Christmas Day, as originally planned. This came after the threats from hackers towards the U.S and moviegoers. The decision has brought up many debates, and I think there is logic to both sides. Here are some thoughts.

1. This essentially is giving North Korea the power to decide what our democratic nation gets to watch. That seems backwards.

2. We are letting a small group of hackers get a victory, while millions of people will suffer a loss.

3. This is a no win situation for Sony. They have to show they care for employees, moviegoers, etc. However, with this decison, many people will also question the company for not taking a stronger stand.

4. It will be interesting to see what kind of precedent this sets. Will this discourage filmmakers from exploring issues with North Korea? Or other dictatorships? Or other nations with power problems?

Overall, the decision to not release this film could carry on into future decisions. Or it could end up being a unique moment in movie history.

College Football Playoff

As we go into the closing weeks of the college football regular season, the four playoff teams are far from set. There are many one loss teams on the cusp, and a couple two loss teams that could sneak in. Also, many tough match ups and conference championship games could shake up the rankings significantly. There are a couple things to watch these last couple weeks.

1. Can Alabama win the Iron Bowl? If so they have a great shot of staying in the playoff.

2. Will lack of a conference championship game hurt TCU and Baylor? Both of these teams are one loss teams that could benefit (or suffer) from another chance to prove themselves.

3. Will Ohio State having a conference championship help or hurt them?

4. Can UCLA beat Oregon in the Pac-12 championship?

5. The Egg Bowl between Mississippi State and Ole Miss could be the most important game in terms of the fourth spot in the playoff.

6. If Florida State falls in the ACC championship, it would be hard for the committee to keep it in the top 4.

These are just a few of the many events that could change the landscape of the playoff when it is all said in done. The next few weeks will be some of the most interesting.

Concert of Valor

Yesterday was a great day as always to celebrate the efforts of our current and past military members. I thought the efforts in Washington D.C made for an even better day. The first ever Concert of Valor seemed to be a hit for the most part nationally. With a star studded lineup including Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen, and Eminem, viewers definitely got some top notch entertainment. I felt it was a great opportunity for not only those artists, but other celebrities, such as Bryan Cranston, to voice their support for all those that protect our country each day.

With mostly positive reviews, I hope to see events like this come back each year. Not only concerts, but maybe parades and other joyful activities. It is important to show our support for the troops with more than just a day dedicated to them. I think Washington D.C took a step in the right direction with this event.

NFL Midseason

This weekend marked the approximate halfway point of the NFL season. Here are some of my thoughts on what has transpired.

1. The Patriots, not the Broncos or Seahawks, could be the team to beat. Tom Brady and a great pass defense have brought New England back to common territory, a top the AFC. The team is clicking on all cylinders, and just dismantled the Broncos.

2. Peyton will have to get home field advantage in the AFC to reach the super bowl again. My faith in him beating the Patriots or another AFC team on the road in the winter is minimal, just looking back in history. He is a different quarterback in the confines of Denver.

3. The NFC is up for grabs. The Seahawks are a shadow of the team that won the Super bowl last year. With off the field issues and other disputes, this team is very beatable. However, there is no team that is clearly better in the NFC, in my opinion. So far, the Cardinals would be my favorite to win, but I think the Packers and Cowboys could make a run. Also, the 49ers could improve and make a run at the right time.

4. This has been quite a year for quarterbacks so far. There has been your standard horrific play from the QB position for many teams. However, many have shined. Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tom Brady have all put up amazing numbers. There have also been many great single game performances from some mid-tier QBs, including Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, and Ryan Tannehill. Philip Rivers has seen a bounce back year as well.

5. The second half of this season is shaping up to be a great show. With no dominant teams, and many equal teams close to the top, the races for division winner and conference home field advantage should be fun to watch. I see many winners not being decided until the last week of the season, which always brings more excitement.

Positives of Blogging

I’m sure there are many internet surfers that read blogs each and every day, but wonder what drives people to start them? I, for instance, have always wondered some of the main reasons to create one. A requirement for my leadership class in school was to start a blog about any topic of interest. So once I started writing, I found some of my favorite aspects of writing a blog.

1. It is my opinion. Here, I feel free to express myself, where in some cases I may not feel that freedom.

2. I can express my thoughts in writing, not just verbally. Some people are better at writing than talking, so this can be advantageous to some.

3. There is never a bad time to work on your writing skills. I believe the more I post, the better I become at expressing myself and my opinions on topics.

There are many more perks, but those are the three that I value the most. All in all, blogs give you a chance to express your opinions in different ways, and allows you to practice communicating.

David Brooks: Balancing Resume and Eulogy

Ever wondered about resume and eulogy and their different virtues? David Brooks presented a crowd with a short presentation that focused on the two, and how we can balance them out. Resume deals with success, while eulogy deals more with finding a connection and community. How one chooses to live is their decision, but good leaders will find a way to create both of these.

Finding a balance can be tough with a lot of different aspects of life. We are constantly faced with tough situations, like balancing work and social life. But how does one do the best they can to create an equilibrium. David points out that good leaders play to their strengths, while constantly working on their weaknesses. And in time, more of a balance can be created. However, there needs to be constant monitoring of eulogy and resume, and how one is building them up. How one acts can determine how one is going for eulogy or resume. But good leaders do a good job of acting equally, and never behaving for personal gain. 

All in all, a good leader recognizes the importance of promoting both eulogy and resume. They know how to use their strengths, and always improve on weaknesses. By doing this, one can begin to focus more on creating an equilibrium between their own success and a feeling of community with others. The video is posted below.

Bugs Money

If one is looking for a show that offers entertainment along with leadership lessons, I strongly advise Pawn Stars on the History Channel. The negotiations that take place educate the viewers on the importance of leadership in an industry like this. We can now look more in depth at the valuable knowledge that can be gained by watching this show.

Pawn shop owners face many negotiations every day. And they are not always the most comfortable processes. Sellers many times try to pressure owners into buying for higher prices, and when they are refused, they can become very angry with the process. Great leaders know how to handle these situations. They know not only what is fair, but how to keep those they are doing business with in line. A strong leader has to stand his or her ground, and most importantly stay level-headed. If the store owners lose their heads, the sellers will do the same thing, which in the end gets no one what they want. Another lesson that is taught in Pawn Stars is the importance of communication.

Simply put, good leaders are good communicators. They make sure everyone is on the same page. Twice in this episode, the employees wanted to be certain they were giving a fair price. They called in experts to help them solve some questions they had in the process. This in turn, got the buyer and seller on the same page. Both parties knew what was fair, which seemed to help the process go along a lot smoother. The buyers used this to their advantage, as they had factual proof to show why they were offering the price that they were.

All in all, many can learn important lessons about how staying level-headed and always communicating is crucial to leadership. The show offers various situations that all teach unique lessons. Below is the video posting for all to enjoy!

http://www.history.com/shows/pawn-stars/videos/pawn-stars-bugs-money?m=5189717d404fa&s=4&f=1&free=false