Mark Bittman’s impact on food

As my practicum project is allowing me to explore the different communities and bloggers of special interest groups I wanted to highlight one blogger I find most interesting and insightful. Mark Bittman is a writer for the New York times and has his own food blog embedded into the news paper. He idea of the food industry has been evolving with the recent increase in a need for local sustainable establishments and practices. Each week Bittman disseminates a slew of informative, thought provoking and definitely intruging links to other articles, blogs or websites regarding similar food issues. This week I have taken some screen shots of what I found most important to my practicum.

Bittman is using the the various links in order to connect people with real time news about food issues through the article from the Los Angeles Times about how San Francisco has put a price tag on McDonald’s toys so they can not be given away for free with kids meals.

The issues that Bittman stresses to be most important are directly inline with Slow Food ideals as he informs his readers on how to reduce their carbon footprint and support the local movement. However, he does not do this in a biased manner. Like many other pieces written for the New York Times Bittman delievers information solely for the purpose to inform. This is illustrated in his link to the article, ‘Is the locavore food movement bad for the environment and economy?’.

Another helpful link that I found on this week’s list was for those who are passionate about supporting their local ideals and wanting to have a farm is with the typical hoop house. Hoop houses usually are quite an ordeal depending on the size of your garden, however Bittman offers an article explaining windowfarms. This could be especially helpful to those of us who live in cold climates for a majority of the year. This is allowing people to fully enthrall themselves with supporting the Slow Food movement.

Finally the last link that I definitely thought I needed to share even though it may not be essential to the Slow Food argument is the introduction of horse meat! I was terrified and appalled that this could be a future menu item at a restaurant, the only comment I can make is I hope it is locally raised and they went in peace.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and next week make sure to check out Bittman’s next post! Bon appetit.



Copyright laws…

I rarely pay any attention to copyright laws when I’m on the internet, and I’m sure this is true of most people.  I download music, TV shows, and movies from various sources, some of which I know to be illegal.  It’s not always about cost, sometimes content is only available through less than legal channels.  iTunes is certainly the only place I’ll pay for music, and even then I usually will only buy a few songs, as opposed to downloading the whole album on torrent.  The majority of my TV viewing is done on Charter cable or Netflix, so I let those companies deal with finding licenses.  I’ve noticed that Netlflix’s offerings have been shifting around, this is most definitely due to keeping and losing certain licenses to provide content.  Although I am fully aware that these laws are in place, it is far easier to ignore them.  The internet’s “free”-doms inspire us all to be criminals.

An analysis on Copyrighting

I have always been aware of copyrighting laws but before this class have never really understood the process and extent that they cover. I think personally that they are a well established system in order to protect the author. If I were a contributer to information available I would want my specific work to be protected and associated with my. However with the channels changing for ways of disseminating information it is understandable that a new approach is needed. I do not feel that the way copyrighting has been established can be replicated online. I think that there needs to be different terms and conditions for online information. My knowledge of specific ideas is limited but feel as though a virtual copyright that follows the original text is necessary. As a consumer on the internet I have noticed that some works are highly protected while others are not. Is there a way to streamline these in order to have all works interacted with consistent?

I think the most important area of copyrighting is within the area of research. This is ground breaking material that an individual has usually spent their life reading, testing and perfecting. It would be interesting to explore the extent of material taken from research that was not properly copy-written and how this has maybe increased or decreased since the transition to online material.

Finally, I am a bit more critical as well as intrigued by the detail that goes into a copyright, what guidelines are followed and what material is copy-written. It is also interested to try and predict how these areas will expand in the future.

Noticing where Credit is Due

It was not until this summer when I started take my design work to a professional level by putting my portfolio online did I realize the many of rules and issues that are encountered with what is “copying” someone’s work. To create a design piece of one’s own, just like making a recipe, people always look to other work for inspiration. If I wanted to design a background for a poster I was creating, I would simply go on Google and find a number of backgrounds with I felt fit my piece. Then I would download or copy a number of the ones that I liked, (this process is called creating a swipe), and choose a background from this narrowed-down “swipe” of mine. Now, the issue that many young artists encounter is re-creating or altering the background so that it is your own. I cannot use any of the backgrounds I chose without altering it in Photoshop or Illustrator by changing the color, for example. I have come to realize that as an artist, I want the work that I make to be mine, and as easy as it is to just copy and paste a background into my work, I would not be able to truly say, “This artwork is mine.” This is why whenever I go to download a font on the internet, I always see a note underneath saying, “Please credit so-and-so for their work,” or it will say, ” for personal use only,” meaning that I can use their font if I am not sharing my work with public. The trust is in the hands of the individual that uses the font. Moreover, now probably due to the number of copyright issues, you have to pay to use someone font, and many fonts or over $35!

Copyright Laws?

To be completely honest, I have never paid a whole lot of attention to copyright laws.  Although it’s not necessarily right to disregard them, I, and I’m sure many other people, do anyways.  Of course, when it comes to writing a paper or creating a presentation that I need to use online sources for, I cite the appropriate information so that the author receives credit for his or her ideas.  However, when it comes to illegally downloading music, I don’t think twice about it.  It’s a cheap way to be able to listen to the songs I’m going to be sick of in two weeks on my iPod while I’m walking to class or studying.  Again, it’s not right (actually, it’s illegal) but I haven’t really put much thought into my actions.

Despite the fact that I illegally download music, I’ve always considered downloading movies illegally to be worse.  In my mind, the cost of a song is $1.29 on iTunes, whereas a movie is closer to $15.  It’s pretty hypocritical to think that stealing one product from the internet is acceptable, but stealing another product, which is somewhat similar, is completely unacceptable.  I think part of this mentality comes from seeing the copyright laws advertised on every movie I watched growing up.  It was always visible and apparently made an impact on me in regards to the seriousness of violating copyright laws.

All in all, I do not pay much attention to copyright laws, except when it comes to movies.  Copyright laws are certainly important and should be given the appropriate attention.  After learning more about copyright laws and regulations, I have become more aware of the issues and the importance of these laws.  I will certainly think more about violating copyright laws in the future.


I must be honest when I say that copyright doesn’t cross my mind all that often when I’m online. It’s probably a combination of the fact that 1. I don’t do that many things online that are in violation of copyright (I don’t think…), 2. I’m probably not well-informed enough about copyright rules online, or 3. I’m not worried about the consequences of my behaviors that violate copyright. Whether that’s the smartest thing is a different matter.

I’m not a huge producer of online content so I don’t have to worry too much about violating copyright or other regulations in this realm. If I quote or reference an article, song etc. online I always include the link or “cite” the source, and not claim the content as my own. Where I should be paying attention to copyrights or regulation is when I’m acting as a consumer of online content. Things that I consume online that are likely in violation of some rules would be when I download music or watch TV shows online. I used to download music a lot more than I do now, with little regard for copyright or the artists. Now I make an effort to actually purchase the music of artists I respect and admire because I don’t want to steal there work. Even if they are probably loaded, its there product and they, and others that worked on it, deserve to be compensated. Unfortunately my college student budget can’t keep up with my desire for new music. Admittedly, I use Vuze, which is great (probably not according to copyright regulations…) because it allows you to download entire albums and discographies with one click, verses song by song (like on Limewire). I don’t worry too much about getting in trouble for my music downloading habits because in reality, there aren’t the resources to go after every person that illegally downloads music. If enforcement is going to follow-up with a downloader I assume it would be someone who downloads much more music than me because I know they are out there.

I also use the internet to watch TV shows that I’ve missed or go on marathons of multiple past seasons. I know this isn’t strictly legal also. When I do think about regulations most is when I try endless links and they’ve all been removed due to “copyright infringement” and my favorite sites (RIP surfthechannel) get discovered and basically become useless because of all the broken links. It seems to me as a user that the owners of this material are doing a decent job locating infringements and taking it down. I’m sure after learning more in lecture about copyright I will be more conscience about it online. Whether I’ll actually change my behavior is another thing.

Copyright policies

When it comes to copyright laws, copyright laws exist? Just kidding, but I treat these laws like they don’t exist. I haven’t really thought twice about the matter, which I’m not bragging about. My roommate actually got a letter from the government, listing the illegal movies she had previously downloaded. They warned her that they are monitoring her, and if her downloading does not stop then her internet will slowly be shut off. They also threatened her with taking legal action. Scary, I know. As far as my personal use, I just take music from my friends. Sometimes when I am completely obsessed with a song, I’ll download it or rent a movie from Itunes.

I will probably continue this habits and even if I stopped people will always get around any laws or policies put in place. When you think about how it has affected the media industry, artist’s, and actor’s careers, you think twice about it. But then I still download it.  For some reason, most people don’t just don’t consider it stealing. Maybe this is because there are no to very little consequences, except for the few people, like my roommate, that get threats from the government. Still I doubt that any action will be taken further than that.