Don's Blog

March 28, 2012, 3:51 am
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Resume Updated
September 25, 2011, 3:57 am
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Don Granese Resume 9-23-11

My updated Resume
April 4, 2011, 12:58 am
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April 2, 2011, 1:46 am
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My resume as of April 1, 2011

February 14, 2010, 8:59 pm
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I tend to update my tumblr blog on a daily basis….

Extra credit
December 4, 2009, 5:32 am
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Out of all the projects that have been presented in my digital media convergence class (and there have been a lot of really good ones) one of my favorites was the silent short film “Goodnight Rabbit” by classmates Meghan Delaney and Richard Donegan.

This short film had a very stylized kind of feel that isn’t always present in other videos that were shown in the class. The storyline is pretty simple, but the greatness in this video is in the actual camera work and the use of the stop motion scene and the foot prints used to represent the loss of the rabbit.

The beginning of the video has some really great scene setting shots in which the audience can obviously understand that the main focus of the film is on this college aged guy who is getting ready to go to sleep. The scenes like him brushing his teeth establish that there is a presence of normality in the world at the time that we are watching him.

As the plot progresses and the main character goes to sleep with his rabbit in hand we enter an almost dreamlike state and we instantly recognize that the rabbit is missing, so there is a plain and simple conflict. The use of the paw prints is a very funny way of showing that the rabbit may have run away where obviously a stuffed rabbit doll wouldn’t actually leave any prints behind. The film then shows how the main character goes on a search to find his rabbit outside in funny places that a stuffed rabbit doll might want to hide in.

The part of the video that I really like was when they actually showed the rabbit coming into the room with a great use of stop motion. This is where the rabbit was made to appear to be a character itself as it could walk and run away by itself if it wanted to. The film overall was great because it had a simple story that was easy for the audience to understand for a silent movie and the camera work was very clear and thoughtful.

This is the complete short film:

Halperin Lectures About the Disease of Violence:
November 23, 2009, 4:51 pm
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Death penalty abolitionist says the end is near for this immoral act of violence against the violent

By Don Granese


Activist Rick Halperin gave an in-depth look into the realities behind the death penalty and death row in the United States during a talk at Elon University Thursday.

“This is the largest crowd I’ve ever seen to come out to a death penalty related talk,” said Halperin as he began his presentation, “How many of you know a family with a member lost to homicide?” At this time about a third of the people in the crowded audience in the LaRose Digital Theatre raised their hands.

“There is no replacement for a person,” he continued, “When someone dies they’re gone forever.”

Halperin is the director of the Southern Methodist University Human Rights Education Program and has served on the board of directors of Amnesty International from 1989-1995, and again from 2004-present. In his presentation he explained that he is strongly against the death penalty as a final option for criminal punishment, but he made it clear that he is not interested in letting criminals who have committed outrageous crimes be set free.

“We have a right to be safe in our homes, in our schools and our churches,” he said. Halperin labeled himself as an historian before he began his in-depth analysis of the history of the death sentence.

“The death penalty is all about people” Halperin said, “It’s as old and as American as apple pie.” He went into detail about how the death penalty was carried out as a public event in the earlier ages of American culture, but then suddenly became something that happened behind closed doors where the public wasn’t able to see. It was kept out of its view. “The death penalty stopped being a public spectacle in the 1870s” said Halperin. For a time after 1972 the death penalty was completely disbanded throughout the United States.

On July 3, 1976 in the case of Gregg v. Georgia the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual. That is was constitutionally an acceptable form of punishment, therefore reinstituting the death penalty once again after a number of years of the death penalty being abolished and unpracticed in the United States. Currently 34 states have the death penalty noted in their State Constitutions. Thirty-seven states have carried out a death sentence since 1976, with a total of 1,175 inmates being put to death. “July 3, 1976, was also my birthday and I haven’t celebrated it since then,” Halperin explained after taking a pause to think.

He brought up the point that good portions of the inmates that are on death row have mental issues or a form of mental retardation. “These people aren’t really completely there, you know? They’re out somewhere else,” he said, “The conditions for these people are absolutely harsh or worse.”

Halperin brought up case of Cameron Todd Willingham, a man who had been charged with arson and the murder of his three daughters in Texas in 1991 after his house burned down. The man had a history of beating his wife and other serial crimes. He was sentenced to death years later but it wasn’t until after his sentence was carried out that proof was found of faulty forensics. Halperin used this example to portray how simple it can sometimes be to put an innocent man to death. “It’s incredible when you look at how the system works or doesn’t work for us,” he said.

Recently death sentencing in America has declined, with the case of many alternatives such as life without parole. Halperin is just as driven against the death penalty as ever.

“Is this the best that we can do as a nation?” he asked, “What are we doing this for?”

He told the audience, which included mostly college-aged students, that within their lifetimes he thinks the death penalty will be abolished. “This isn’t a human rights issue, this is the human rights issue,” he said promoting the basic moral concept behind his thinking when he simply added, “There is no such thing as a lesser person.”