Friday, December 30, 2011

I Should Write about My Adventures

So my week has been rather busy. Christmas was amazing, but Boxing Day was a tad boring. For those of you who don't know what a Boxing Day is, its a magical day where Canadians and English are supposed to give their servants gifts for working over the holiday, while the masters either play football or (regretfully) shop. Nowadays, there aren't many masters or servants, but there are shoppers.

To anyone following BBC or a national station, you saw a report of people using mace and other various weapons to get past other shoppers in order to get after-Christmas sales. In my opinion, that's quite un-awesome of those Canadians. But what do I know, I am just a Pittsburgh Blogger! All I did was fly a Canadian Flag!

Speaking of being a Pittsburgh Blogger, on the 29th, my awesome aunt (introduced me to John Green [now known here as Jay-Scribble]) took me to her workplace - KDKA Television in Pittsburgh. She took me out to DeLuca's in the Strip beforehand for a breakfast including my Belgian Waffle that was a tad larger than my head.

Following the large waffle, she took me into Gateway Center through the back offices of KDKA into the editing suites. There I met a man named Marty, who was the KDKA master of Final Cut. Apparently what KDKA does is they record tapes, and digitize them into a form for Final Cut and then re-burn them onto tapes for the tape people to run in their master machines.

After talking to the Final Cut Wizard, we ran into the morning anchor Rick Dayton. He talked back and forth with us for a good 10-15 minutes, and then he had to prep for the Noon News. After making our way through the newsroom (running consequently into the producers, Dave Crawley, Ross Guidotti, John Shumway, the Dispatcher, and Satellite man) we took a journey into the Satellite pointy room where a kind man (his name eludes me) showed us how the tape decks work and how using this mounted iPad-looking thing, he points the Satellite receivers so they can pick up the signals live in the studio.

After that, we went into Studio B where they film the Nightly Sports Call and the mini-kitchen for PTL. Finally, we made our way into the control room (Video, as we had just met the audio dude) to watch the opening of the Noon News.

If I thought running WCHS (Morning Announcements) video feed was tough, KDKA's is impossible! They are watching 17 or so different monitors ranging from video bugs (logos in the corner) to camera angles to satellite trucks to CG stuff to the tape room. Needless to say, I was awestruck.

Big Promotion from WCHS, huh? - DavidWov
During the break, we worked our way onto the studio remote-control/teleprompter deck. There, we watched the studio from inside the actual room. During the next break, I actually made my way onto the set, about 20 feet from the anchor and Floor Operator.

After the news was over, I sat in the anchor chair as Rick Dayton recorded the ID Tags (Whats Coming up at 4, 5, etc) And once that was all over, Rick and I posed for some pictures:

Overall, it was a great day. Special thanks once again to my aunt who not only took me there, but introduced me to everyone as well as took these three pictures. Also, thanks to Rick Dayton for putting up with us two

IN THE NEXT BLOG (Scheduled, at least): I will talk about my adventure to the University of Pittsburgh's Nationality Rooms. Oh, and just a heads up: In 2012, I will work on bringing you a blog at least once every week, usually on a Friday or Saturday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Don't Unplug Me, and the P4A

I was inspired by the lyrics to ALL CAPS's song entitled "don't unplug me" in acoustic version on If you have no clue what that is, you should open a new tab in Explorer or Safari or whatever and type in GROOVESHARK.COM. You can stream music from its website for free, and save it into a playlist. And yes, ALL CAPS is a DFTBA (#Nerdfighters)-written artist.

I haven't posted on this blog in about two weeks. Since then I have been busy on-stage as well as lighting stages. On stage, I have been performing with CHS's Guys Ensemble group. This is perhaps my favorite group to sing with. Honestly, we are there just to have fun.

So our director shows us the drifters version of "White Christmas" in Sheet music form. We all kind of look at her like she is absolutely crazy. She calls for some sort of weird falsetto thing (check out audio from the original here: and then two weeks before the concert she utters the words that bring bad mojo to any guy attempting to perform on stage: YOU WILL DANCE. I am going to eventually post a video, but it didn't end great.

Project For Awesome Press Kit Logo
This past Saturday was December 17th. It was the annual PROJECT 4 AWESOME on YouTube. For those who aren't aware, the Project for Awesome is a Youtube initiative where creators of content post (instead of their regular content) videos about Charities that they either support or have taken part in.

To those who say that Youtube doesn't care, boy it does. As of 12/22/2011 at 9:36PM EST, they had raised $71,348.30 USD. This doesn't put into account the fact that DFTBA artist Alex Day is releasing his single with the proceeds going to a P4A charity, and that John Green's new Zombie Novella is going to be released for the money going to the P4A Projects.

Another post coming soon... and sorry if this one didn't make too much sense. In other news, I got a twitter. Feel free to follow me @AlexPopichak. Thanks!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Visiting with the Occupiers and Education Paradigms

So for those of you who are unaware, one of my recent projects has been working with a Teen Media project at Pittsburgh's WYEP radio station. This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Occupy Pittsburgh movement with this group.

So along with the 13 other mediamakers (I need to come up with something better...), I took a PAT bus ride to downtown from the South Side. We walked a block or so until we reached the Occupy movement across the street from the Creche and the USX tower and were given some field recorders and groups to talk to the occupiers about who they were and what they stood for.

After wandering around the encampment around this large bulletin-board style fence around a fountain, it was quite clear that this group was angry with what was happening with America, and were willing to stay indefinitely. It kind of reminded me of a boy scout tenting excursion. So we decided to walk up to a guy and identify ourselves as media people from WYEP. He had a lot to talk about. He was a man who had taken odd jobs: moving boxes, a registered massage therapist, before joining this movement.

When asked if he thought that this movement would help any job prospects when I (or in this case, the girl asking the questions) graduate college, he laughed. He said that he wished that he could say so, but he was being a realist. He thinks that change will come out of this, but nothing immediate.

We also asked what the reactions the encampment had gotten. He said it was mainly positive. He mentioned a time (as did two other protesters) where there had been a few people about four weeks ago that had screamed "GET A JOB" out the window by passing at a high rate of speed, to suggest that they might have been drunk. Others said that they'd join, but they had to work. To be honest, some of the protesters do have jobs (See Below).

Two other protesters talked to us about their thoughts. The one man described himself as "Underemployed." They mainly shared the same views as the first man, but had an interesting perspective coming back and forth from a job (I think the one said he was laid off, but I am not sure).

Afterward, we talked about what we had seen, and who we had talked to. One of the common misconceptions that media outlets had given us was that this was a band of angry homeless people. They were people who wanted the top 1%  of Americans (the rich) to take responsibility and help those below us. They wanted solidarity which, although they have separate political views, we all kind of want.

Later during that discussion we talked about how this ties into relation with education. Education impacts all of us as teenagers, and quite frankly everyone. Alexa (coordinator) pulled up a video that I put up on my share link site thingy (or at which talked about how education affects GDP, the future, the economy, politics, etc.

For more info on Occupy Pittsburgh, check out
For more on my adventures at WYEP, I am going to start posting those into a tag labeled "WYEP Teen Center" find it on the sidebar.