The chaos (and growth) in the entertainment industry

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a talk given by our own Professor Dan Wolfe where he talked about how much the entertainment industry (TV and movies) has opened up. This is largely brought on by the online streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, and Apple who are creating their own content. We’ve moved into an era where more competition has opened up greater demand for content. For comparison, Professor Wolfe compared the number of feature films created by Disney last year (12) to the number created by Netflix (200+). It’s never been a better time to create desirable content because content is king and if you’re creative their is demand for your services. His talk was posted to YouTube and is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waLwGPXs-uk

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Stuck in the middle with you….

This morning, while I was dropping my daughter (9) at school a police office approached me to tell me that I had to move my car. I asked if I had parked in a no parking zone. He said that didn’t matter, I was blocking traffic, he could have my car towed because I was parked in the middle of the road. I don’t think that was true. Take a look for yourself.

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UMW Freshmen Seminar Visits FBI Headquarters

20161121_145324Last month we were fortunate enough to tour the FBI Headquarters in Washington and hear from some of the agents on the work that they’re doing.  The tour was arranged by the father of one of our alumni and from the moment we arrived to five hours afterwards when we left the FBI really went out of their way to give us an inside perspective of the work that the FBI does.  We heard about the billions of dollars that the FBI manages.  We also learned about the work that field agents do, the importance of counter-terrorism, and the fight against white collar crime including the infamous Bank of the Commonwealth case.  The once in a lifetime experience represents the advantage of being part of a school that has such a strong alumni network and is located close to our nation’s capital.

Defeating the bystander effect and stopping a crime

20160607_010820_brock_turner_arrest_mug_listIn psychology there is a well established effect called the bystander effect. The bystander effect, is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present.  It’s not that these are bad people it’s just that everybody thinks that someone else will intervene.  This is the phenomenon that prevented 38 law-abiding citizens in Queens from calling for help when a killer stalked and stabbed a woman in broad daylight in Kew Gardens (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/03/10/a-call-for-help).  More recently, the media has been reporting on the case of Brock Turner, the Stanford swimmer who raped an unconscious girl.  This story is getting a lot of attention because of the short sentence that Turner received.  What’s not receiving as much attention is that two strangers who did not know either the victim or the assailant intervened.  They were biking by when they noticed something “weird” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brock-turner-bystanders_us_5755b3e1e4b0c3752dce45f8).  Not only did they intervene but they chased and tackled Turner until the police arrived.  It would have been easy for them to just keep on biking and not intervene (thinking that someone else will do something) but these two didn’t and hopefully more will follow that example.