“What it Would Take to Build Trump’s Border Wall” Video Critique

By Ethan Marshall

 

This non-broadcast video on CNN’s website examines how a border wall between the US and Mexico can be built, using special effects and animations to help the viewer better understand the information being provided to them by correspondent Jason Carroll.

The sequencing, edits, shot composition, and sound are combined throughout this video in order to maintain the viewers’ interest and make it easy for them to understand what’s being told to them.

The video usually uses wide and extreme wide shots of the Carroll talking to the viewer so that the body of water separating the US and Mexico can be seen by the viewers.  Using a shot of that includes the body of water as a border rather than a fence makes the viewer realize that Trump’s wall wouldn’t just be running along the middle of nowhere.  There are natural obstacles that need to be taken into account in building the wall too.

The editing of the video includes animations showing where the wall would go through, how a strong and stable wall can be made, and the cost of the wall.  By providing a visual aid, the viewer is able to better understand what is being discussed than if the shots consisted only of Carroll standing in front of the body of water.

The composition of the shot of Carroll standing in front of the border helps to make the viewers realize just how much distance there is separating the US from Mexico in that area.  While Carroll states that the body of water only separates the US from Mexico by 100 miles, the extreme wide shot makes Carroll look dwarfed by the natural border behind him.

The loud volume in which Carroll speaks to the viewer throughout the video keeps the viewer drawn into his voice.  Carroll’s voice isn’t annoying enough to push potential viewers away, nor is it monotone enough to bore viewers.  He is able to sound as though he is intrigued by the details he is providing to the viewers.

In my opinion, this video is able to be successful for, among other reasons, the smart and creative ways the sequencing, edits, shot composition, and sound is used.  One of the main points Carroll is trying to make to the viewer is that while it is possible in theory for the wall to be built, it would be a long and arduous process for it to be done.  Carroll finishes the video with a humorous stat about how much the wall would cost: nothing, because Mexico is going to pay for it.  It’s a way of him saying how ridiculous this idea is in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ulises “Uli” Chavez Photo Story

Born in San Salvador, El Salvador in 1997, Ulises Chavez was separated from his parents at a very young age.  His parents moved to New York when he was just an infant, with the goal of raising enough money to one day have Uli brought to America to be with them.  After spending the first nine years of his life being raised by his aunt and two uncles in El Salvador, Uli’s parents were finally able to raise enough money to arrange for Uli to be reunited with his parents in America in 2007.  Uli and his then-16-year-old cousin were driven across the U.S.-Mexico border, and brought to Long Island, New York.

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Today, Uli spends most of his time working at Holiday Farms, a supermarket in Glen Head, New York.  He is trying to make and save enough money to afford to go to college.
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Uli says he enjoys living in America much more than El Salvador.  “You get more rights [in America].”   
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One of Uli’s many responsibilities at Holiday Farms is stacking the shelves.
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In order to get to the items, Uli needs to use a cutting tool to quickly and neatly open the bags of goods.
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Stacking the shelves requires Uli to carry many different goods from the back room to the aisle they are supposed to be in.  When the shelves are completely filled, the leftover products are brought to the back room until the shelves need to be restocked again.  In this picture, Uli is using a U-shaped wagon (referred to as a U-boat) to push the leftover goods to the back room. 
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Occasionally, Uli is called upon to change the machines used to recycle plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans.  He has to drop off the recyclables at a loading station in the back of the store, where a truck picks it up and takes it to a recycling plant.

 

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When the cardboard compactor in the back room begins to overflow, it is Uli’s job to empty it out and move the giant cardboard stack to the loading station, where it will be sent to the recycling plant.
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The process of moving the cardboard stack includes multiple steps.  First, Uli needs to get a big wooden pallet, and place it next to the compactor.
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Next, he needs to insert thin metal wire through the back of the compactor, before tying the wires together in the front.  This allows for the compacted cardboard to stay together when it is moved.  
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Then, the metal plate holding the cardboard in place is lifted with the push of a button, allowing for the cardboard to fall on the pallet.  After this, a forklift is used to move the cardboard on the pallet to the loading area.
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While Uli hopes to one day attend and graduate from college after he saves enough money to be able to do so, he says his ultimate goal is to become an electrician, as well as to get married and have a family in Long Island.

 

 

 

 

Tebow, Tebow, Tebow

By Ethan Marshall

 

The Tim Tebow show arrived in Port St. Lucie a few weeks ago, and, this week, he appeared in two spring training games for the Mets.  The 29-year old prospect went 0-7, with three strikeouts and a hit-by-pitch in the the Grapefruit League.

After signing with the Mets last summer to play full-time professional baseball for the first time since when he was a junior in high school in 2005, Tebow was thrown right into the wringer this spring. His Grapefruit League debut last Wednesday came against 2016 A.L. Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello.  Porcello struck him out looking on four pitches.

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Tebow walking back to the dugout after striking out in his first at-bat of spring training.  Photo credit: Jason Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports

Tebow’s second at-bat seemed like a Hollywood movie moment in the making when he stepped into the box with the bases loaded and nobody out.  A homer would’ve added to the circus that is Tim Tebow.  While Tebow did hit the ball hard, it was on the ground and right at the second baseman, resulting in a double play.

After getting hit in the shoulder in his third at-bat, Tebow didn’t even flinch as he tossed his bat and went to first base.  Tebow would get doubled up shortly after this when he was caught too far off first base on a lineout to second by L.J. Mazzili.

While Tebow and the Mets have been criticized for inserting him into the starting lineup, taking away playing time from potentially better ballplayers, it should be noted that Tebow was a very good baseball player in his high school days.  Tebow’s former high school  baseball coach, Greg “Boo” Mullins, described him as a “six-tool player,” the sixth tool being his character.  In a 2013 interview with The Sporting News, the former Nease High (Ponte Vedre, Florida) baseball coach said “Everybody should know this: He wasn’t just a great football player, he was a great baseball player too.  I believe he could have played in the big leagues.

In his junior year, Tebow batted .494, with four homers, 30 RBI, and 10 doubles.  Mullins projected Tebow could’ve been drafted between the 7th and 12th rounds out of high school.  He went as far to say that Tebow could’ve potentially be drafted in the second round had he played baseball in college.  The reason he was never drafted, as Mullins points out, was that while multiple MLB teams were considering drafting him out of high school, they didn’t want to waste a pick on a man who had clear intentions of playing football over baseball.

Despite Tebow’s unsurprisingly poor spring performance, Mets manager Terry Collins did see some bright spots in the former Heisman Trophy winner.  According to The New York Daily News, Collins said “The speed of the game is really something he hasn’t seen before.  [Wednesday] was his first game, he went back and took live (batting practice) and he saw better at-bats [Friday].  He was more rested at the plate, a lot more comfortable.  All things considered I thought he did a nice job.”

Regardless of how Tebow’s baseball career pans out, every at-bat, every defensive opportunity, and every game he participates in will be heavily covered by the media.  For the Mets, this is just the beginning of the Tim Tebow circus sideshow.

 

 

Trump-Obama Photo Critique

By Ethan Marshall

The New York Times article examines President Trump’s recent claims that Former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump’s phones in Trump Tower last year.  The pacing of the story varies in that it starts with providing background information on the issue discussed in the article.  The article then provides quotes and reactions from Trump and his associates, as well as, Obama’s associates.  The article then goes over the process it would take for the president to even be allowed to wiretap someone, as well as, the restrictions the president faces in doing this.  Next,  the article goes over Trump and his cabinet’s connections with Russia over the past two years.  In addition, the article mentions where Trump may have gotten this idea, citing a recent Breitbart article, which made these claims without any evidence, and a conservative radio host expressing this conspiracy theory.

The first photo is a wide shot of Obama and Trump sitting across the aisle from each other during Trump’s inauguration.  The photo displays the rift between the president and his predecessor.  The photo reflects the distrust the two have with each other.  The positions in which Obama and Trump are located and facing also reflects the political state of the country, with Obama on and looking to the left, and Trump on and looking to the right.  The caption works with the image to tell the story in that the two had a rocky relationship before Trump took office.  While the two seemed to get along after Trump took over as president, Trump’s bitterness towards Obama has seemed to return with his allegation of Obama spying on him last year.

The other image is a creative shot of Trump Tower in New York City.  The image is taken from a distance from the floor, in order to display the sign of the tower, as well as, the armed security guarding it.  The photo supports the caption in that it provides the location in which President Trump claims his predecessor wiretapped him (without any evidence).  The fact that the image is taken from the floor makes the security and the building look intimidating to whoever looks at the image.

 

Live Tweet of Islanders vs. Rangers 2/16/17

By Ethan Marshall

Twitter handle: Piazzafan1000

Who’s at First?

By Ethan Marshall

 

With Mets first baseman Lucas Duda dealing with back and hip issues, now is the time for the Mets to test out some of their other players at first base.  While there is no reason to think right now that Duda won’t be healthy by opening day, the Mets will need to have a backup plan at first in case Duda gets hurt, remains hurt, or struggles.  It is worth noting that Duda missed most of last season due to a stress fracture in his back.

The leading candidates to take over first base for Duda are Neil Walker and Jay Bruce.  Both players have been taking reps at the position this spring.  While Walker moving to first base provides flexibility around the infield, allowing for Reyes and Wright to be in the lineup at the same time, it makes way more sense for the Mets to move Bruce to first base.  With Bruce playing first base, Michael Conforto would be able to fit in at right field, solving the logjam the Mets face in their outfield.  Additionally, Wilmer Flores would still see plenty of playing time at first base against lefties if the Mets were to go with Bruce at first base.

Duda’s injury couldn’t have come at a better time.  Since it’s still very early in spring training, Bruce and Walker have plenty of time to get acclimated to the first base position. Even if Duda is healthy again before the end of spring training, the Mets would have should something happen to Duda.

Another first base option could be David Wright.  Wright is still trying to get his arm strength back.  Moving Wright to first base would allow for Reyes to play third while also sparing Wright from having to throw across the diamond.  While this seems practical, it isn’t really necessary for the Mets to have another right-handed hitting first baseman.  The Mets want Flores in the lineup against lefties.  Last season against lefties, Flores hit .340, with a .319 on-base-percentage, .710 slugging percentage, and 11 homers.