ARTS/CULTURE: Debating Spotify vs Apple Music

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by Madison Storm, Jillian Smith–

Millions stream music daily, and the preferences of music platforms are seemingly never ending. Two streaming services have continually held high ratings over time– Spotify and Apple Music. The question remains though, which is best?

Each platform offers similar plans in regard to pricing, with options set to best meet user needs. Many of the differences come to light when comparing access to music, new music discovery, and options for things outside of music like podcasts.

In this edition of the Arts and Culture podcast, The News Feed’s Madison Storm and Jillian Smith debate which streaming platform they think is best and why.

INTERNATIONAL: World response to U.S. Presidential Election

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by Madison Storm, Reid Campbell–

With the close of the 2020 election, Joe Biden has been named the 46th President of the United States. Reactions to this news have been seen across the globe, with several international leaders offering their thoughts on the future that’s possible with Biden in the White House. Majority of these comments were positive and also offered congratulations to Kamala Harris for being the first female, first black, and first Asian American to be elected as Vice President. 

Several international observers also commented on the disorderly conduct of current President Donald Trump. Criticisms over doubt cast on mail-in ballots, discriminatory statements, and falsely declaring victory were just a few of the opinions expressed.

SPORTS: NFL’s Sexual Assault Problems

football
Photo by ljv on Foter.com / CC BY-ND

by Reid Campbell, Emily Carter–

Yet again the NFL is finding itself in a controversy surrounding its handling of sexual assault cases. Antonio Brown, a star wide receiver and former New England Patriots players has been allowed back in the league despite numerous allegation of rape and an ongoing civil lawsuit filed against him for sexual assault.

This is not the first time this has happened in the National Football League. Numerous players in the past have been accused of similar crimes, and have only been given suspensions from a handful of games, not forced out of seasons or outright banned from the league like many have called for.

The NFL has created programs in the past to change how people view the leagues handling of these situations, like a series of PSAs from 2014. In this podcast Reid Campbell and Emily Carter discuss the Brown case, prior issues in the league, and the failures of the NFL

SCI/TECH: Apple iOS Obsolescence Theory

by Jillian Smith and Emily Carter–

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Planned Obsolescence is the theory that companies intentionally design products that they know will become obsolete after a short period of time. The theory states that this strategy is used to cause consumers to continue to buy new products and devices as older ones slow down or eventually stop working at all. Because Apple has recently released a new software update, iOS14, many people have already begun to speculate how this update will impact older devices.

In this science/technology podcast, Emily and Jillian discuss the ways that Apple has addressed these claims and made efforts to debunk this theory, as well as personal experiences that they have had with Apple products and their own opinions on the theory.

LIFE/STYLE: Campus ministry life during COVID

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by Jillian Smith, Sarah Wormald–

Virginia Tech’s campus ministries look drastically different amidst Coronavirus complications. For example, Cru, a Christian campus ministry would usually have a large group service in Squires’ Colonial Hall every Thursday night. However, under the current circumstances, Cru is continuing their large group service online, encouraging students to have safe watch parties together.

Another ministry, Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) is meeting in person on Tuesday nights for a socially-distanced, reduced capacity and masked service, similar to how some other ministries and churches in the area are operating.

There are elements of uncertainty when it comes to places and groups of worship during coronavirus, and those who find community in these groups will continue to adapt.

POLITICS: Polls, debates, and Trump contracting the coronavirus

by Tahreem Alam, Sarah Wormald–

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President Trump contracted the coronavirus on October 2, 2020 while simultaneously campaigning for his 2020 Presidential re-election race. His coronavirus-handling approval rates are decreasing as U.S. citizens enter the eighth month into the pandemic, which can have serious consequences for his campaign in key swing states.

In addition, Former Vice President and President Trump recently could not reconcile on a method for debating in the second presidential debates in Miami, resulting in the second debate’s cancellation. Although public opinion polls do not decide the winner of the debates nor the actual election, what does a debate cancellation mean for citizens who expected to watch the two most popular candidates engage with meaningful questions?

Finally, what does Trump’s behavior and attitude around the virus, and then suddenly contracting and spreading it in the White House mean for his image in relation to national public health?

SCI/TECH: New Apple updates, what to expect

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by Madison Storm, Kai Young–

Apple released their latest software update recently and users are already enjoying the new features. iOS 14 was rumored for several months before it’s actual release date which was re-scheduled multiple times due to COVID-19 related issues. This update is said to give users to ability to customize their device more than ever before. However, correction updates have already started being released to fix issues many are experiencing.

We also discussed new technology Apple users can be expecting to be released later this year including the rumored iPhone 12, a new watch, and iPads. Apple has also been working on Bluetooth connection devices and at home devices similar to the Amazon echo. It’s unclear the effect COVID-19 will have on the release of these new products. Check out this weeks podcast to hear more.

POLITICS: Cali wildfires spark political debate

Wildfire Photo by USFWS/Southeast

Noah Butler, Evan McNally–

In this week’s politics podcast of The News Feed, Noah Butler and Evan McNally discuss the wildfires ravaging California. The Republican and Democratic presidential candidates have been taking sides on the wildfires, while also using the wildfires to criticize each other and their policies.

So far, 35 people have died in 2020 due to the wildfires. The LA Times reports that the past ten years of fires in California have been the most destructive on record. The current fire season in California is the most destructive season on record, having burned a total of 3.2 million acres with no signs of slowing down.

LIFE/STYLE: Fitness routines and COVID-19

by Tahreem Alam, Bobby Trono–

Photo by Alexander Wessels on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered many lifestyles and daily routines. After over 6 months of on-and-off community-wide scares, cities in the New River Valley are reopening gyms, workout spaces, among other indoor facilities. In addition, Virginia Tech students returned earlier this season to capacity limits within on-campus gym facilities.

However, with limited places to go and work out, Hokies are finding new and creative ways to stay active and healthy, while practicing social distancing. People have taken up online classes for workouts, yoga routines, and meditation sessions. Virginia Tech even introduced a new field house to accommodate students who want safer recreational options.

Thus, it seems like even under the new restrictions, Virginia Tech Hokies are still displaying their value of a healthy lifestyle and spirit for fitness.

ARTS/CULTURE: Creatively adapting

state theater

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by Bobby Trono, Sarah Wormald–

The performing arts world has drastically adapted in response to Covid-19. On a local level, Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts has moved all of its fall events online, except for the Progeny Film Festival which has physical and online options for viewing selected films.

Coronavirus complications have resulted in different creative ways for Virginia Tech artists to share their craft, one of which being an audio play called “The Cretans.” This audio drama surrounding ancient Greek myth will be presented online in three different parts early October.

Other online events include film screenings, artist lectures, and concerts that range from celebrating the 250th birthday of Beethoven to local ensemble performances.

The Moss Arts Center also has an online season with a variety of events that feature artists from their homes and performances through Zoom. However, the Moss Arts Center galleries will be open Sept. 10 for the public to view various art installations while proper protection and sanitation precautions are taken.