Monthly Archives: March 2009

There has got to be a better way!

GVSU Business Plan Competition

Thursday, April 2

6:00 – 9:00 pm

Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Campus

Artists, chefs, designers, inventors, disrupters, trainers, innovators

Check it out!


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Photography in Laymen’s Terms

A great how-to photography book everyone should own! 

As the title indicates, this book will show you how to shoot absolutely everything. What’s great about this book is author/photographer Tom Ang superbly explains the hows, whys and then gives a step-by-step photographic breakdown. The book is organized by people, landscapes, etc. then further organized by candid kid shots, for example. For anyone who has a digital camera and wants to improve their skills, this book should be on your “must-read” list. Get the picture?  – Hitched

  • Title: How To Photography Absolutely Everything
  • Author: Tom Ang
  • Hardcover: $40.00
  • Paperback: $24.95



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A romantic beach sunset is only a click away!

Now that it is getting warmer out…before we know it Lake Michigan beaches will be filled with people soaking up the rays and watching beautiful sunsets!


Andrew Hudson suggests some great tips in capturing gorgeous sunsets!


Avoid The Sun

The biggest problem with sunsets is the sun. It’s just too bright. Unlike human eyes, cameras cannot handle high contrasts, particularly highlights such as a bright sun. So including the sun in a photograph will usually give you a picture of a big white splodge. Your picture will be overexposed with little color or detail. 

There’s no easy way around this, so the trick is to either wait until the sun is on the horizon (when it’s dimmer), or photograph the sunset without the sun. Look for clouds to obscure the sun or photograph a part of the sky away from the sun. 

Shoot The Sunset After Sunset

The sky often has the most color after the sun has set (the “afterglow”). Pick a day when there’s a sprinkling of very high, whispy clouds as they’ll turn a bright golden color about 15-30 minutes after sunset. 

Find A Foreground

Pictures of just the sky can be boring so find a simple foreground to add depth and interest. Your foreground will be silhouetted, so find a subject that has an interesting outline set against the sky or reflecting water. In these examples I used piers and palm trees. 

Anything below the sky (or reflecting water) will not be visible in the photograph (it’ll just be black) so crop it out. Position the horizon low in your frame so that you capture just the colorful sky and any reflecting water. 

To photograph people, get within ten feet of them and use a flash (“fill-flash”) to add light on their faces. 


I take some shots with no filter and some with an FL-D (magenta), to add some purple to the sky. I’ve tried other filters but they just tend to mess up the delicate colors. 

Watch for Clouds

Clouds add magic to a sunset. The way the light beams through, or reflects off these changing formations is wonderful. Generally you want a scattering of clouds above you, but no clouds (clear weather) on and past the horizon (allowing the sun to shine through). Low clouds are tricky as they often obscure the sun and, even when they don’t, their colors come and go quickly. High whispy clouds are my favorite. They light up later, for a longer period of time, and over a larger portion of the sky.

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One of our correspondents, Brittanee, will be featured in the Louder exhibit!

The photographic senior thesis students at Grand Valley State University are putting on a show!  The exhibit will consist of the students’ final body of work.  The genre of photography ranges from gender issues, rust, live melting ice and 5×4 format camera work.  

And the best part…FREE admission

Open to the public: April 14-24,2009

Reception: Thursday, April 16 from 5-7pm

Special Showing: Saturday, April 25 from 7-9pm

Students presented in the show are as follows:

  • Ashley Budnick
  • Breana Cronk
  • Summer Danielski
  • Ben Dehann
  • Guiliana Fuentes
  • Carlita Gonzales
  • Emily Greenlee
  • Melissa Lemus
  • Todd Manna
  • Jacob Pataniczek
  • Kate Saler
  • Brittanee Smeltzer
  • Kylie Stegenga
  • Emily Sutton
  • Briana Trudell
  • Riley Vaughn
  • Alyssa Wozniak

Louder will be a wonderful show that will speak louder than words! So please come see all the wonderful photography work of Grand Valley’s finest!

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“We must be the change we want to see in the world” – Gandhi

Did you know that each gallon of gas used by a car contributes about 19 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere? Or for a single car driving 1,000 miles a month, that adds up to 120 tons of CO2 a year?


A carbon footprint is the total set of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product. A carbon footprint calculator takes into account home energy use, driving and flying effects, food and diet, and recycling and waste. Everything we do has an effect, and there are many things we can do to reduce our effects on the environment. Changing some of our behaviors is not only better for the environment but in many cases can save money.


The most important factor in being more environmentally friendly is being educated and knowing how your behaviors reflect on the environment.


·      The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.

·      99.5% of all fresh water on earth is in icecaps and glaciers.

·      About 110 million Americans live in areas with levels of air pollutants that the federal government considers to be harmful.

·      Americans throw away 25 billion Styrofoam coffee cups every year and 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles every hour.

·      84% of a typical household’s waste-including food scraps, yard waste, paper, cardboard, cans and bottles-can be recycled.

·      The typical American home uses 300 gallons of water each day.

·      A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of fresh water.

·      If all the cars on American roads were properly inflated, it would save nearly 2 billion gallons of gas each year.

·      The USA accounts for only 4% of the world’s population however we are responsible for 22% of the world’s pollution.



-Put a lid on it! If you are heating something on the stove, put a lid over your pot or pan. Boiling water in a covered pot takes much less time and saves energy too. Also, make sure that the pot fits the burner snugly so energy in the form of heat does not escape out around the edges.

-Inflate those tires. A properly inflated tire not only prevents wear and tear on tires themselves, but they also give your car a couple of extra miles per gallon of gas. Saves 250 lbs of carbon dioxide and $840 per year.

-Bring your own grocery bags. Every time you go to the store, paper and plastic bags are manufactured and disposed of for your convenience. Reuse the bags from your last trip or get some canvas ones for long term use.

-Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). They cost a bit more when you buy them but the energy savings make up for the initial cost quickly. Replacing just three frequently used bulbs with CFL’s saves 300 lbs of carbon dioxide and $60 per year.

-Wash your clothes in cold water. One of the biggest drains on energy in the washing process is the heat that it takes to warm the water.

-Recycle, recycle, recycle. Most consumer products can be recycled. Find out where recycling drop boxes are in your area, check school, library and church parking lots. Remember to rinse your aluminum, glass and plastic products before dropping them off.

-Reduce and reuse. This may be even more important than recycling due to the fact that the recycling process uses energy on its own. Buy in bulk to reduce packaging. Find new ways to use old items. “Waste not, want not”

-Unplug unused electronics. Even when an electronic device is shut off it still uses energy. Save over 1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide and $250 per year.

Everyone can make a difference. The eight things listed above are very simple changes everyone can make which will assist with bettering the environment for all. As Gandhi once said, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.”

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The Most Energy Efficient Laptop



MacBook 13-Inch Aluminum

The new 13-inch MacBook is the most all-inclusive computer. It features a uni-body enclosure, an extremely innovative keyboard and mouse pad, and a thin, light, and sleek appearance. On top of all this it is energy star certified. Apple makes both the hardware and the software for this MacBook so all aspects of design and technology work together to make it run more efficiently. The LED back-lit display uses 30% less power than other typical LCD displays. This laptop also made of arsenic-free glass, is brominated flame retardant free, mercury free, and PVC free. There is 41% less packaging than other macs and laptop computers. Finally, the aluminum and glass used are highly recyclable.


Elegant and strong unibody aluminum construction makes the Mac Book feel as tough as many higher-priced business notebooks while delivering consumer-friendly features.

 -Sharp and bright 13-inch LED backlit display delivers a brilliant picture when watching streaming video, editing photos, and viewing Web pages. Edge-to-edge look is seamless and sleek, and the glare isn’t that bad if you pump up the brightness.

 -All-glass touchpad is miles better than any other on the market, and the push-to-click functionality works so well you don’t miss having dedicated touchpad buttons. In fact, you immediately miss this feature the second you start using other notebooks without it. Plus, the four-finger gestures work well when you want to see all open windows at once.

-Having easy access to the back cover for replacing battery and/or removing hard drive is huge. Yes, you can do it easily on other Macs, but not on the Mac Book Air.

-Fast Nvidia 9400M graphics gives the MacBook plenty of visual muscle, although we’ve yet to confirm if it’s 5X faster than Intel’s integrated graphics. We had no problems streaming a high-definition episode of Fringe from at full screen. And Google Earth was very smooth when doing fly-overs from the East to West coast. We’ll be doing some gaming tests soon.

-Overall performance was quite snappy, and we ran Geekbench to confirm our early impressions. The MacBook notched a score of 3512 with its 2.4-GHz CPU and 2GB of RAM. That’s lower than the 3578 an older MacBook Black turned in with the same clock speed and RAM in our office, but we certainly didn’t notice any slowdowns when multitasking.


 -No memory card reader. We understand that Apple makes a conscious effort to leave features out that end users aren’t necessarily asking for, but I think a card reader would be really convenient for transferring photos–especially on the go. You don’t have to bother bringing your USB cable or deal with a USB reader.

 -Lacks mobile broadband. We wish this feature were at least an option. One Apple rep told me that consumers can easily plug a modem card in, but with Qualcomm’s Gobi technology available, notebook vendors can offer EV-DO and HSDPA connectivity on the same machine with a single software-based radio. You can choose your carrier. 

-Mini DisplayPort not as popluar as HDMI. This mini port makes connecting to an external display easy, but HDMI is far and away the more popular type of connection right now for TVs and even large LCD monitors. However, DisplayPort supports higher resolutions when outputting the video signal to larger monitors, and you can always purchase an HDMI adapter.

-Could use more USB ports. Two isn’t terrible, but we would like to see another port on the right side for supporting more peripherals simultaneously, and the two USB ports that are on board are too close together. (You might not be able to have to gadgets plugged in at the same time, depending on their size.)


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Top Ten Things To Do In Muskegon, MI

A blog post from the “just the facts, ma’am” school of blogging.   JC is our craic correspondent handling the lake shore city Muskegon.  She’s all business when it comes to Muskegon (although why isn’t a visit to the Cheese Lady included?)

1. Lakeside Emporium

2. Harbor Theatre

3. The Station Grill

4. Lake Michigan (Pere Marquette)

5. Great Lakes Naval Memorial  & Museum

6. Lake Express

7. The Lakes Mall

8. Michigan’s Adventure

9. Muskegon State Park & Hoffmaster

10. The Hearthstone

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