Monday, January 24, 2011

Interning Internationally- Eye of the Intern Blog-

Our generation has been called many things: Generation Y, Echo Boomers, Millennials, or Generation Next. My personal favorite comes from political pollster John Zogby; he chose to refer to people born between 1983 and the early 2000s as “First Globals.”
What the heck is a “First Global”? Zogby asserts that our generation is going to be tasked with renewing the American promise abroad and learning to thrive in a truly globalized world. So what’s that mean for you? Get comfortable working with a variety of people and develop international literacy early. Interning abroad is one of the best ways to develop international experience as well as make incredible memories.

I spent last spring in the United Kingdom working in the House of Commons and left with a new understanding of parliamentary democracy, and a new appreciation for our own system. In every job interview I have had since returning from my time in London, the first question I am asked inevitably relates to Parliament. Jumping outside of my comfort zone, adapting to a new environment, and demonstrating that I can thrive when challenged are skills that employers in every field respond to. Plus it makes for a great story and a unique skill on your resume!

So if you’re looking to beef up your resume and learn a lot about yourself in the process—keep these 3 tips in mind while searching for your dream internship abroad.

1.Talk with your campus study abroad office to make sure the program you are participating in is legitimate if it’s not run through your university.

2.Make sure you apply for your visa at least 6 weeks prior to your expected departure date.

3. Talk with your classmates who are headed abroad and ask about staying with them when you travel. This not only saves money on hostels but experiencing a city with the people who know it is always better than flying blind.

What about you? If you could intern anywhere for a semester, where would it be?

Check out the original post here

Where Did All The GOP Candidates Go- The Politicizer

As of November, 5th 2010 political pundits turned their sights from the “shellacking” taken by Congressional Democrats in the midterm elections to the impending presidential primaries. While most coverage focused on the unlikely possibility of a primary challenge to President Obama I was struck by the fact that not a single Republican candidate has formally announced a presidential bid. This lack of hats in the ring is compounded by the large number of prominent GOP officials mulling a 2012 run. Historically, presidential hopefuls have made some statement of intent by this point. For example, in the lead up to the 2008 race former Senator John Edwards announced in December of 2006. So as we approach the primary season, where are all the Republican candidates?

Presumed GOP Contenders
General consensus and recent polling courtesy of The Washington Post and ABC News indicates the top Republican contenders are Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, as well as Newt Gingrich, and Tim Pawlenty. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is also apparently prepping a long-shot bid with recent trips to Iowa and New Hampshire. Romney, Pawlenty, and Palin have begun the unofficial campaign through their respective political action committees (and in the case of Pawlenty a book tour as well).

Perhaps the annual Conservative Political Action Conference will reveal some of the GOP’s contenders. In addition to being a crucial audience for any potential GOP candidate to reach, CPAC also hosts its famed straw poll. Although none of the victors of this poll in the previous three years have won the nomination, each of the GOP heavy hitters could parley a CPAC straw poll win into a formal announcement later in the month. It would be very surprising if CPAC passes without at least one prospect officially declaring their candidacy for the presidency.

Visit The Politicizer for the full article.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The End of Single Player Video Games?

Recently the CEO of video game giant Activision made the claim that Call of Duty, the popular shooting franchise, was as significant as the rise of Facebook due to the online multi player it launched and largely popularized. While I won't take the time now to debate the finer points of that particular argument I do think the comment hints at something lurking on the minds of gamers everywhere: is the single player video game a dying breed. Games such as Call of Duty and the Halo series on Xbox are sold primarily for the online experience offered by each title. Although both possess compelling stories, any tale gets old after a few tellings...or playings. Online game play offers a much greater bang for than a game without the ability to play online. Further many of the most prominent titles are now requiring online collaboration in order to unlock all of the achievements offered by a particular game. So is the classic single player game dead?

Not a chance. While online games have and will continue to overtake traditional single player variants players still yearn for compelling stories and incredible game play. Two of the best examples of games that have defied the multi player trend are Batman: Arkham Asylum and Bioshock. I think the competition from multi player games will actually produce better single player options with increased online integration.

My Wishlist for the 112th Congress

So yesterday the 112th United States Congress was sworn in and John Boehner of Ohio became Speaker of the House as the Republican Party officially took control of the lower house of Congress. With the U.S. still facing tough economic times with unemployment inching towards 10% Congress must focus on the major issues facing American families or the new GOP members will be thrown out in 2010. So here is my wishlist for the 112th Congress and a few things I hope they don't do as well:

1. Replace Obamacare with a state based alternative- during the debate over healthcare reform the GOP offered 80 constructive amendments all of which were disallowed by Speaker Pelosi. Republicans and Democrats must work together to craft a more viable and less expensive alternative to government mandated care. This will become even more urgent should the Supreme Court hear Virginia's challenge to the individual mandate of Obamacare.

2. Extend the Current Tax Rates- Taxing job creators is a surefire way to stop employers from hiring new people. Lets get serious, raising taxes in a time a economic downturn puts the entire recovery at risk. The "Bush" tax cuts should stop being demonized and protected to ensure that companies can afford to create jobs (a role that government cannot accomplish).

3. Deficit Reduction- Washington takes in plenty of money, the reason we are facing a soaring national debt is that we are simply spending too much. If the United States is going to avoid major austerity measures like those occurring in Greece we need to get serious about cutting our spending. The cuts made by the Coalition Government in the UK under David Cameron can serve as a model the U.S.

4. Balance the Budget- Enough Said.

5. Push for carbon emission caps and create incentives for nuclear and green power- Also pretty straightforward.

Now for a few things I hope the new Congress will leave the hell alone

1. The DREAM Act- Extending benefits to the children of illegal immigrants and illegal immigrants themselves is a surefire way to encourage MORE illegal immigration. I do however believe that illegal immigrants serving in the Armed Forces should receive a fast track to citizenship.

2. Gay Marriage and Abortion- There are some things people will never agree on. Why waste the entire country's time showing how progressive or conservative you really are.

3. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan- It is time to get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan. We are shed more than enough American blood in Middle East hell holes. Neo-conservative wars for democratization are not worth any American dying for. I don't have the slightest interest in a "global democratic revolution." I want the U.S. to be secure and ready to meet the challenges of the next decades.


One of the most celebrated geek films of all time is Tron. Uniting computer programmers with nerd of all sorts this tale of an epic struggle in a digital world discovered by a brilliant video game designer. Although the original story wasn't anything particularly new the application of technology in 1982 was groundbreaking. Although the image below may not seem to live up to the description I have just given for the time this was a seamless union of the available digital technology with the promises offered by the incredible advances occurring everyday.

So naturally expectations for the sequel Tron Legacy were incredibly high. Simply put this film delivers. It is visually stunning and for fans of the original blends classic Tron mythology with an engaging story. One of the most impressive aspects of Legacy is the creation of digitally rendered younger versions of the characters played by Jeff Bridges (CLU) and Bruce Boxleitner (Tron) from the original film. As computer programs they do not age and they are incredibly life like. I would highly recommend that everyone goes out to see Tron Legacy for no other reason than it is one of the slickest films I have ever seen. Also, Jeff Bridges continues his phoenix-like rise (which for the record started with Iron Man!) and is excellent once again as Kevin Flynn (although it does feel like he is channelling his character from the Big Lebowski at times). If nothing else Tron Legacy continues the tradition of pushing the boundaries of technology further and questioning how far can we go with technology.