Julia Fox in the News, Norbert’s Bulletin Board, Zombies and Birds, Halloween Photos, and Jeffrey Hart’s Brown Bag

Julia Fox in the News

In light of Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity, held in Washington, D.C. over the weekend, news outlets have been calling on IU Telecom’s Professor Julia Fox.

One of the key findings of her research on Stewart’s The Daily Show is that his program is equally substantive in terms of content as regular television news coverage. “That made a big splash when it was published,” says Julia.

This past week major media outlets revisited that study and a follow-up study, which revealed that viewers of clips from The Daily Show could better recognize and recall sound bytes than those who watched regular television news coverage.

Check out the following articles that draw on interviews with Julia or discuss her work:


The Washington Post

Objects in Faculty Offices, Segment 7: Norbert Herber’s Bulletin Board

Professor Norbert Herber doesn’t have much spare time these days.  He is in the process of completing his PhD in the Planetary Collegium through the University of Plymouth, UK.  For him, the experience has created an interesting dynamic.  He takes on the role of faculty member and student, teaching courses while working on his PhD thesis.  He is able to apply the guidance he receives from his advisors and introduce those ideas to his own students, a process he describes as truly fantastic.  Furthermore, his research is quite different from other research in the department.  Norbert explains that he does not conduct experiments, but creates interactive emergent music projects and measures the effect they have on those who experience them.  This type of research leads to further development of practice and vice versa.  Most importantly, the process is about making work and then reflecting on it; conducting the research in order to further creative work.

Norbert reminisced about the papers and objects pinned on the bulletin board in his office, many of which are from performances and exhibitions in Europe, Asia, South America and the U.S.  See Norbert talking about these objects here:

To learn more about Norbert’s PhD experience and his work, go here:

Steve Burns’ Zombies and Birds

Since coming to Bloomington in 2008, MS student Steve Burns’ work has focused on two types of creatures: zombies and birds. An unusual duo? Sure. Steve explains the history behind both, starting with zombies. “I’ve always loved creepy stuff,” he says. “I had a friend whose dad rented us horror movies when we were really young so I probably saw Night of the Living Dead when I was in second or third grade.” Steve started making zombie films for his undergrad production projects, which he notes means that he was well ahead of the current zombie craze.

For his biggest zombie production thus far, Steve, along with fellow grad students Austin Lord and James Ball wrote a script for a zombie thriller called Dead Christmas. The film went into production last summer, and was shot in 3D at sites around Bloomington. “The production was a blast,” Steve recalls. “We had a great crew and a fun cast who let us soak them in sticky syrup blood day after day in 90 degree weather while they pretended it was December.” The film has been submitted to several festivals, and Steve and his crew are waiting to hear back from the organizers.

Steve’s interest in birds comes from his wife, who studies the Junco bird as part of her PhD research. Steve has traveled with his wife numerous times to capture images of the Junco, hitting up locations in South Dakota, Guatemala, and Mexico. In the process Steve helped at an aviary and assisted at a fieldwork site out West.  He started to consider filming a documentary about the Junco at the suggestion of another biologist. “A student from her lab brought up the idea of making a documentary, so I told him I was interested, went out and shot some stuff, and we’ve been working at it since then,” he says.

While he takes a break from work on the Junco documentary, Steve still has zombies on his mind. His thesis project, a feature length horror script, will also feature the undead, albeit not necessarily in the stereotypical portrayal of most zombies. “It has zombies but they are not coming out of the ground like in “Thriller” or the product of a disease like 28 Days Later,” he explains. “My zombies are lab experiments so it’s kind of like if Dr. Frankenstein was mass producing.”

To see some of Steve’s work with zombies and birds, check out these links:

Professor Paul Summers and the Killer Zombie – One of Steve’s undergrad projects

Junco Preview – A preview clip from the Junco Media Project

Telecom Halloween 2010

PhD student Travis Ross hosted fellow grad students for an evening of music, candy, and eerie lighting. Check out a slideshow of the costumes from the Halloween night:

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Jeffrey Hart’s Brown Bag Presentation

This week’s brown bag presentation featured Jeffrey Hart, professor of political science at Indiana University.  His research focuses on the politics of international economic competitiveness and high technology, especially software, hardware, and telecommunications.

The Net Neutrality Debate in the United States

Abstract: In 2006, a major telecommunications bill failed because it did not include guarantees for something called “net neutrality.”  Republicans strongly opposed including these guarantees, while Democrats strongly favored them.  The debate over net neutrality continued during the long campaign leading up to the 2008 presidential election.  When the Obama Administration took office in 2009, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski revived the idea of codifying net neutrality rules.  In April 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against the FCC’s attempt to prevent Comcast from restricting certain types of file sharing applications on its network.  The FCC adopted a new strategy because of the Court’s action.  It opted not to undertake a major revision of the Telecommunication Act of 1996, but instead to attempt to regulate Internet service provision under modified “common carriage” rules just as a basic telephone services had been previously.  An attempt will be made here to explain these choices.

See the highlights here:


Nicky Lewis: Norbert’s Bulletin Board, Brown Bag

Katie Birge: Julia in the News, Zombies and Birds, Halloween 2010

Special Thanks

Nic Matthews: Halloween photos

Carrie Birge: Halloween photos

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