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A Personal Introduction

This is the post excerpt.

My name is Diego Mendoza, I was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela nearly 18 years ago. At the age of Seven I moved to the United States, old enough to remember where i came from. Because of this I still have deep ties to my home country, and actively participate in the Venezuelan community back home in Miami. I love Soccer, or futbol as i prefer to call it, and played for my High School during my Freshman and Sophomore years, now I play the game for fun. Other than Soccer, I also play golf, which I took up so i could spend more time with my father, and Basketball, a sport that I find immensely entertaining to watch. My father is an electrical engineer, who has managed to establish a successful company despite his humble beginnings, I consider him a great source of pride and motivation. I aim to follow in his footsteps, and become an electrical engineer, right now im in the Gator Engineering@Santa Fe program, and i hope this will be the first step in a long and challenging journey towards accomplishing that goal.

I consider myself a Cinephile, I am very fond of Film, I find the medium is the most effective way to translate real human experiences and emotions into quality entertainment. I am a huge fan of the Star Wars series of films, and the expanded universe that they inhabit. I am also very interested in music, I love classic Rock and Roll, and modern Hip Hop, two very different genres I know. Back home in Miami, I was in a band with my friends, I played the guitar, lets just say we weren’t very good. My biggest passion is Traveling, I love the world and the people that inhabit it. I spend most of my free time studying Geography and History, I want to be a knowledgeable traveller, my dream is to travel the world one day, and experience everything it has to offer.

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My Father and I, 1st and 2nd on the left. Presenting at an Automation Convention

My Final Thought: The Blogging Experience.

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As a blogger, the most important thing I’ve learned is that this medium is a powerful tool to learn, discuss, and expand our mindsets.

This will officially be my last blog, if you came across this then you have probably not read any of my other entries, since I dont have any dedicated readers. Therefore, instead of making this post a “goodbye”, I will continue my trend of writing opinion pieces, and discuss how I feel about the blogging experience. I started writing my own blog posts in order to improve my writing, and share my most simple opinions. Over time I became accustomed to checking in weekly, and writing a simple post.

I feel like I accomplished my goal of practicing my writing. Knowing that my posts will be public made me focus on my grammar and syntax. Most importantly I found an enjoyment in being able to write about what I wanted. As a college student, most of the writing I have to do is assigned to me.

Further reading on how blogging can help improve your writing

34 varied reasons to start a blog

Over time, I started to become desensitized to blogging. I grew tired of what felt was like writing for no one. I did not feel the need to invest my time in telling the world how much I loved a certain movie, or how enjoyable my latest read was. I wanted to write about the things that mattered the most to me, politics, world events, science, literature, sports. Of course this page provides me with the opportunity to express my views. But ultimately I felt the topics i wanted to cover were too broad and too complicated. And I lacked the necessary audience. I would rather dedicate my time becoming better informed in the topics that interest me, maybe one day i will have access to a platform more powerful than a blog site. This is why i’m stepping away

In the end this was my own personal decision. I recognize that blogging has so many benefits. Writing the few posts that I’ve made has taught me how important it is to be well informed. Most importantly, reading other bloggers post has opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, and taught me things I would never have learned otherwise. I still appreciate blogging, and find it a very important source of knowledge and opinions in todays world. Diego Daily may be shutting down, but I will certainly stick around and keep on reading what the world has to say.

Word Count: 428

Book Review: Gareth Hinds’, Romeo and Juliet Graphic Novel.

Gareth Hinds’ Romeo and Juliet, based on the play by William Shakespeare, whisks us off into his version of Shakespeare’s era Verona, in this lively graphic novel adaptation of William Shakespeare’s timeless classic. As someone who has read a Shakespeare play in its entirety, I found the colorful panels, drawn by Gareth Hinds’ himself, a nice reprieve for the eyes as I transitioned from box to box of archaic english text. As someone who has never read Romeo and Juliet I found it relatively easy and entertaining to read this story in its graphic novel form. It was much simpler to read it this way than as a play script. The only “New” aspect that this version provides the reader, since Hinds’ uses the original text, is the artwork. I personally enjoyed the artwork, it was not the greatest that I’ve ever seen in a graphic novel, but it was good.

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Hinds’ Graphic Novel is one of thousands of takes on Shakespeare’s timeless tale.

Gareth Hinds, is an artist and a masterful adapter, his website details all the other classics he has transferred to new mediums.

A short simple essay, masterfully detailing why “Romeo and Juliet” is such a timeless tale.

Hinds’ Closes out his work with an Author’s Note, here he describes how he tackled the challenge of adapting Shakespeare’s work into a Graphic Novel. He, of course, has to take liberties on his detailing of the setting, since there was no visual representation of Verona at the time. It is his other stylistical choices that I find more interesting. For example, he makes the Montagues a Black family, and the Capulets an Indian family, in an effort to show that this is a universal story. He also changes the way that the younger characters dress, in an effort to symbolically show that they are a rebellious generation. He does this so all the themes would make sense to the modern reader. He also took some liberties with the text, opting to use no footnotes, and sometimes replacing older, no longer used words, for modern ones, All for the sake of the flow. In the end, I can see how Hinds had to make some changes, not only because he was transferring the play to a new medium, but because he had to reach a wider, and modern audience.

Word Count: 392

 

Kanye West: The Genius Behind the Arrogance

Kanye West is not only my favorite musician but also my Idol and a musical inspiration. Many people today know of him because his antics appear on the news, or because his wife is a famous reality star. Yes the arrogance is there, he is a man that speaks his mind, and does not bother to filter anything. Many people have a negative view on him, but only a few are aware of his musical genius.

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To find why Kanye West is considered one of the Greatest musicians of the 21st century, one must travel back to the early 2000’s, when he was just a producer. West started off his career making beats for rappers and singers, like Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. His unorthodox use of already existing music to create a new sound, this is called Sampling, was highly sought after, not only because it was good, but because it was new. No genius wants to be restrained, and so Kanye West sought to release his own rap album, but it would not be easy. He was a “Good Boy” in an era dominated by Gangster Rap, a sub genre defined by lyrics about criminality and life in the inner cities. What was Kanye West’s first single about? Jesus Christ.

Despite the opposition surrounding his new rap career, Kanye West released “The College Dropout” to critical and commercial success. This album along with its equally successful follow up “Late Registration” , included some of the finest, most innovative uses of samples seen in rap. His lyrics had a deeper take than was common at the time. Incorporating themes of racism, higher education, hopes, dreams, his love for his mother, his nearly fatal car accident. This style of rap, and usage of samples is mainstream now, when Kanye West introduced it in 2003, it was groundbreaking.

Fast Forward to 2007 when Kanye West, now an established star in the musical world, releases his third Successful album, “Graduation”. Here he pushed the genre further, using electronic music samples, autotune, an synthesizers. All of this is commonly found now. This album effectively killed Gangster Rap, which was still prevalent. In 2008, following the unexpected death of his mother, Kanye West released “808’s and Heartbreak”. This album was polarizing upon its release, the bombastic style of “Graduation” is gone . It’s pared down, and uses an autotuned rap-singing style to communicate feelings of loss, particularly over his mother’s passing. Artists like Drake, have launched careers by developing the musical ideas from this album. Kanye made it acceptable for a rapper to be vulnerable, to be human.

Following these four groundbreaking albums Kanye West released his magnum opus. “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is just a plain masterpiece of music. It combines all of the themes of his previous works. It is one of the fullest musical examinations of the modern psyche, and elevated Kanye West to be considered one of the greatest musical artists of all time.

Since then Kanye West has expanded his musical library with equally great and groundbreaking works, “Yeezus” and “The Life of Pablo”. Most importantly, he has become one of the most powerful men in the music business, wielding a large amount of influence. Just last year, he was included in the “Time 100 most influential people in the world”.

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Kanye West’s greatness is also backed up by real facts, this article lays down his career by the numbers. Including the 21 Grammy wins.

Kanye West has also become widely influential in his second passion, Fashion.

In my opinion, the mark of a genius is that they think about the world in a different way than the rest of us. A mathematical genius is not somebody who can solve a familiar problem with incredible speed, it’s someone who can solve a problem that was once thought unsolvable. Kanye West fits this definition, he pushed the envelope of Hip Hop, to a place that was previously unexplored. Today Hip Hop is a varied, insightful, and a truly artistic genre, and in the 21st century, Kanye West was its most important pioneer.

Word Count: 721 Words.

Favorite Film:The Greatest Saga Ever Told

My favorite film of all time is Star Wars (1977), and by extension the universe that it gave way too. Ask someone what their favorite film is and they will often answer “Star Wars”, this is not supported by any scientific evidence, im just speaking from experience. Maybe it’s the type of people that I surround myself with, but Star Wars fans can come from any social circle and even social class. Basically, everyone is a Star Wars fan nowadays, and for this post I want to distance myself from the casual fans, and write about why star wars is so important not only to me, but to the rest of us who hold the films in our hearts.

As a child I had access to most forms of media, I usually watched cartoons and animated movies, sometimes delving into more mature films. I fondly remember these shows and films that I watched, but interestingly enough, Star Wars was not one of them. My love for star wars grew slowly, and I dont exactly remember how or why it happened. I didn’t see the films in order, nothing was planned. Today I realized how lucky I was to retain that sense of discovery, and not be spoiled by the masses. By the time I was in middle school I had established my self as a true fan, collecting toys, reading book, and watching the movies every month. But it was not until I was in High School that I started crying and getting chills upon hearing the main theme.

I believe this started happening because I was able to understand, the mastery of the story telling, the world building, the music, the characters. It’s all so perfect. Star Wars means a lot to so many people, because It allows us escape to another world. And go on journeys we would never have in our normal lives. At the same time it inspires us to be adventurous, and to be a better person of our selves. All of these feelings come from a combination of the magical setting, deep and complex characters, and a fantastic story rooted in real human themes. This post is just scratching the surface on “The Greatest Saga ever Told”

Word Count: 372

An article detailing why Star Wars is an ageless classic.

Wikipedia article, on the impact Star Wars, has had on culture.

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Star Wars also has one of the most popular plot twists of all time.

A Review of Marissa Meyer’s “Cinder”

As a big fan of Sci Fi Fantasy (yes its an actual genre look up this little movie called Star Wars, if you want an example) Marissa Meyer’s “Cinder” caught my attention, Of course i wouldn’t read any science fiction novel, if I lived by that philosophy then I would waste my time reading absolute stinkers. But there is something unique about cinder, it is the classic Cinderella story draped in a cloth of futuristic themes. It is a promising concept, and a very unique one. The question is, is Cinder a good read?  Even after burning through it to reach its very unfulfilling conclusion, I still have no idea. It is an entertaining read, It was simple to get into the story of Lihn Cinder, and her life as a cyborg in New Beijing. But thats only the surface of the story, Lihn Cinder lives in a wildly imaginative world, and sadly this is where my biggest gripe with this novel arises. Reading the first few pages I was genuinely excited, after all thats why I picked up the novel in the first place, the first few pages drew me in. All the talk about A cyborg girl, New Beijing, and the Lunar Empire. “This is going to be an amazing Sci Fi fantasy novel” I thought, but it really wasn’t. I still dont know how Cinder could exactly fall in Love with Prince Kai, she is a robot after all, who are the Lunar Empire people, that question remains unanswered. It seems to me that Meyer decided to not delve into the unique characteristics of the world she created, just to keep Cinder’s story moving at a breakneck pace. Sadly she sacrificed substance and meaning, cinder is a superficial book, yes at points it is entertaining, but I was never transported to a another world through this literature, and ultimately I never gained anything from it.

Word Count: 320

Goodreads, Information on novel

A more positive view on “Cinder”, to contrast my personal opinions.

 

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Cinder is Melissa Meyer’s first in a much wider series.

Books, My Favorites.

As a child i was an avid reader, I would read any book I found, often ignoring quality. My mother would brag about this on any opportunity she had, Often telling her friends “Diego loves to read, he never stops!” For some reason an 8 year old that could eat up children’s novels was a fascinating thing to many, when it should have been common. Sadly my passion for reading faded as books started getting more “boring”, in middle school i was forced to read books i did not like, and once i got to High School i burned through books the day before they were due, I found no fun in reading.

Yes the title of this Post is “Favorite Books”, but I felt like I needed to state the fact that, for most of my teenage years, I despised reading. Because of this my “Favorite Books” are the ones i read during my youth, the whimsical stories that took me to another world, the books that couldn’t drop because i loved them so much. The books that brought a smile to my face. Sadly i dont remember many of these, i just remember how they made me feel, how much I LOVED reading, because it made me so happy. The clear example that comes to mind was the Harry Potter Series, by J.K Rowling . The story of the boy who lived was a fascinating one, underlined with deep adult themes, it was also the most magical setting, literally. As a young kid these books made my imagination run wild, and they made me feel. I cared about Harry, and Ron and Hermione, i cried for them, i smiled for them, I threw my book in the air just because of the sheer anxiety that the most tense moments brought me. I remember this series fondly, the best example of what literature did for me as a kid. In High School i read the classics, 1984, The Great Gatsby, The Sound and The Fury, Animal Farm, and so on. But they felt forced, I was never free to explore literature as I wanted to, and that hindered my enjoyment of the greatest novels of all time. I know that my love for literature is still intact, I blame the system for putting it away for so long. But now that the restrictions of High School English classes are gone, I will be free to fall on love with literature at my own pace.

 

Word Count: 414

A Heartfelt List on what J.K Rowling taught us through her magical Books. : http://time.com/3974157/jk-rowling-harry-potter-lessons/

An Interesting read on how school extinguishes children,s passion for reading

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Harry Potter, helped me and many others fall in love with literature.

TV Favorites

Game Of Thrones on HBO: My current Favorite, this show has EVERYTHING! Really, everything. Since i started watching it, i’ve been hooked. The show is about the power struggles of the noble houses of Westeros, a medieval land. Although the show is highly realistic, often translating real human emotions and situations into a fantasy setting, it will always be a Fantasy story, this combination of Real and Fantasy is what I love most about the show.

American Horror Story on FX: As a fan, I will be the first to admit that this anthology horror series is highly inconsistent and can often serve up some bad episodes. But it is so unique, and when it’s good, it’s really good. Every season deals is an entirely new story. My favorite is season 1, titled Murder House, it is about a dysfunctional family who move into an old Los Angeles home where many atrocities have occurred. And where those who have died inhabit the house as ghosts. Trust me, it makes for great television

Freaks and Geeks on Netflix: This show originally aired on NBC, in the year 2000, and only ran one season before it was unjustly canceled . Now it can be viewed on Netflix. It is about the Weir siblings, Sam and Lindsey, and their high school experiences living in 1980’s Michigan. Today the show is popular for introducing important comedic figures of today’s hollywood. Such as director Judd Apatow and actors James Franco and Seth Rogen. However the show is mostly remembered as a coming of age tale that perfectly captured what it’s like to be a teenager, that doesn’t really fit in. I watched this show when I was a Junior in high school, and I never related to anything else as strongly as i did to these characters.

 

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Freaks and Geeks (2000)