<![CDATA[Project for Nuclear Awareness - Karima Oglesby]]>Sat, 19 Mar 2016 18:41:34 -0700EditMySite<![CDATA[From 24 To Adventure Time: Nuclear Weapons On TV]]>Mon, 24 Jun 2013 15:51:28 GMT/karima-oglesby/from-24-to-adventure-time-nuclear-weapons-on-tvTelevision programs can often reflect what’s going in the world, and that is most certainly true with the shows that have popped up in recent years. Many of these programs have touched on the issue of nuclear weapons. They show what could happen if they were used. the potential aftermath and play on the fear of what could happen if terrorists were to acquire these weapons. A few of these shows are Jericho, 24, and even the popular kid’s cartoon Adventure Time.

    Jericho was a short-lived television show that premiered on CBS in 2006. The show focused on the  fictional town of Jericho and how its citizens were affected by numerous nuclear attacks on the United States. The fear that the fictional characters on Jericho felt regarding the nuclear explosions slightly mirrored the real fear that Americans felt in 2006. In 2006 North Korea conducted an underground nuclear weapons test. The international community condemned the testing and this only sparked tensions between the United States and North Korea, tensions that still exist today. It seemed like 2006 was the appropriate time for a show about nuclear attacks to premiere because it reflected what was going on in the world. Jericho examined the political and social issues that would rise if such an attack occurred. Would the United States tighten control over its citizens in an attempt to restore order after a nuclear weapon was used? Would citizens be in favor of military control following a nuclear attack? These are all interesting questions that pop up on the show and are raised by citizens. 

    24 was another show that played on the popularity of nuclear weapons. It was a show that was centered on Jack Bauer, a man who tries to protect Americans from terrorist threats. It premiered in November of 2001, relatively soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks. At this time period Americans were fearful of future attacks on the United States and this included the fear of nuclear weapons. As a result, 24 played on that fear. The show made people question what could be done to stop terrorists from acquiring these weapons and what could happen if a terrorist was to create a nuclear weapon.. This is an issue that is still heavily talked about today. The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was only just adopted by the United Nations in 2005. Both 24 and Jericho managed to incorporate the political atmosphere of the world into the plots of their shows.

    It is not only shows that cater to adults that feature nuclear weapons. Adventure Time is a popular cartoon show that is played on the Cartoon Network. The show is set in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo. The Great Mushroom War is often credited as the cause for the zany characters that roam the world and for the creation of the Land of Ooo. The mushroom in the title of the war is a play on the mushroom cloud shape that appears when nuclear weapons are used. The opening credits of the show even briefly feature the remains of a nuclear bomb. The program also touches on the humanitarian aspects of using the bomb. The effects of radiation in the real world range from various forms of cancer, mutations, and destruction to the environment. In Adventure Time, the mutations cause candy people, unicorns, talking dogs and other colorful characters. Finn, the main character, is the only human left. Jericho and 24 seem to raise political questions, but Adventure Time seems to simply be a look at what nuclear weapons can cause, albeit in a kid-friendly manner. Television shows will always continue to reflect the issues that are going on in the world. 

-Karima Oglesby
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<![CDATA[Engaging Supporters Using Social Media]]>Tue, 26 Mar 2013 16:12:09 GMT/karima-oglesby/engaging-supporters-using-social-mediaThis month PNA had the privilege of having Jesse Bacon, a PowerThru Consultant and Viva Teachers Social Media Communications Director, attend in-house training in the office. As the social media fellow, I was able to learn important tips about how to further engage with our supporters on facebook, twitter, and the other social media sites that PNA uses.

One tip that was stressed during the training was that the importance of using petitions and e-mail lists, two ways to involve supporters in a particular cause. Those who work in the non-proliferation field know that this is an issue that requires contact with politicians and constituencies.  Project for Nuclear Awareness has spent some time in the D.C area to speak to politicians, and has come to see that petitions make communication with senators and representatives a little easier. These petitions may not always be effective but they give supporters the chance to make their voices heard as they demand action. PNA is not alone in using petitions, Global Zero currently has a petition addressed to President Obama that demands further cuts to the US-Russia Cold War stockpiles. Petitions highlight important issues and remind politicians that people care. Non-profit organizations can create these petitions using free and low-cost sites such as change.org or signon.org.

    

    For social-media enthusiasts, I recommend Verizon’s free webinar “How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need To Change With It”. Three main points were stressed in the webinar and they are as follows, 1. Everything has Changed 2. Evolve or Die and 3. Stop pushing, Start listening. It is important to consider what news stories people want to read and how they can be engaged on facebook. This form of “give and take” is crucial in determining what interests PNA’s followers. It’s always necessary to take the time to listen to what your supporters are saying and ask for their opinions. I look forward to continuing the use the information I gained to assist PNA and our supporters!

-Karima Oglesby
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<![CDATA[Nuclear Weapons in Pop Culture: Novels]]>Sat, 16 Mar 2013 15:55:15 GMT/karima-oglesby/nuclear-weapons-in-pop-culture-novels  Nuclear weapons have played an important part in popular culture throughout history. From being featured in big blockbuster films to being referenced in famous anti-war songs, nuclear weapons can be a hot issue. They seem to be especially prevalent in novels. 


    Watchmen, a popular graphic novel by Alan Moore, is one novel that discusses the topic of nuclear weapons. It’s set in the 1980s in an alternate reality, although the United States still has a tense relationship with the Soviet Union in this world. Moore places superheroes into this Cold War-era environment and examines just how they would react to an impending nuclear crises. The graphic novel includes superheroes such as Doctor Manhattan, a man given that name because the government wants him to create the same type of fear that the atomic bomb does and Adrian Veidt, a man who seeks to stop the fear of a nuclear attack between the Soviet Union and the United States. The main symbol of the novel is a smiley face with a splatter of blood positioned in such a way that it resembles the hands on the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic clock that is meant to represent just how close humanity is to a nuclear catastrophe. The mixture of superheroes and nuclear weapons seems to prove the point that humanity may not be better off even if these superheroes really existed. Humans are still responsible for their own fate.


    Nuclear Weapons also exist in the popular dystopian novel “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. At the end of the book, jets fly over the city and drop nuclear weapons on the city. The city is obliterated and one of the characters, Granger, explains that mankind is similar to the tale of the phoenix. “And it looks like the we’re doing the same thing, over and over, but we've got one damn thing the Phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we just did.” (Bradbury) Bradbury seems to be making the point that mankind repeats itself despite knowing the horrors of the past. After the horrific atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it would have made perfect sense for nuclear weapons to cease to exist. Despite the tragedy that followed the bombings, even more countries gained access to nuclear weapons despite knowing the horrible outcome of using them. 


    Watchmen and Fahrenheit 451 are just two books that explore the use and presence of nuclear weapons. Even Dr. Seuss touched on the subject with his children’s book “The Butter Battle Book”. Dr. Seuss uses the fictional races, the Yooks and the Zooks, to satirize countries that compete in the arms race. Popular Culture represents the taste of the masses and general apocalyptic fiction seems to be on the rise as news stories about North Korea, Iran and other countries continue to come out. 

-Karima Oglesby
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<![CDATA[Social Media and Non-Profit Organizations¬†]]>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 17:10:59 GMT/karima-oglesby/social-media-and-non-profit-organizationsMany organizations in the non-profit world have realized that having a large social media presence can be incredibly important. Social media offers a quick way for organizations to share news items that are relevant to their causes.It also allows groups to enhance their relationships with constituents. Social media gives supporters the chance to immediately chat and share their own ideas with the groups they are backing. Project for Nuclear Awareness is always working on having a vibrant and interactive social media space that allows us to stay in constant contact with our supporters. Websites such as facebook give PNA the chance to share daily news stories and to show interesting videos regarding nuclear issues and arms control. Social Media sites like facebook can empower fans and allow them to share stories with their friends, thus spreading the message of a particular non-profit organization. Other websites, including twitter, let non-profits easily share the top news stories that their followers may have missed. 

    As you can see, social media is really important! That’s why PNA recently established a Tumblr page. Tumblr is a website that allows users the opportunity to reblog (share previously blogged material) or share pictures and quotes. Tumblr is a useful platform due to its popularity; especially with young people. I hope that the Project for Nuclear Awareness tumblr enables our organization to connect with the youth in a more personalized way and therefore encourage them to discuss nuclear non-proliferation issues with their friends.

     Having an active social media presence has been proven to be quite useful. It allows for one-on-one interaction and gives supporters the chance to share their opinions and feelings. Up-and-coming non-profits should definitely try to create successful social media sites and interact with fans of their organization. It’s always wise to think creatively and reach out to your followers!

-Karima Oglesby
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<![CDATA[Sparknotes to Non-Profit Start-Ups: Stepping Outside the Box]]>Wed, 26 Dec 2012 17:09:57 GMT/karima-oglesby/sparknotes-to-non-profit-start-ups-stepping-outside-the-box    Since there are so many non-profit groups that focus on similar issues, attracting attention to your particular organization can be tricky. That is why products such as the Adobe Software Donations Program and enrollment in Google for Nonprofits programs can be incredibly beneficial. These products are a great way to get creative and appeal to new and old supporters!

    The Adobe Software Donations Program is an offer from Adobe that allows qualified nonprofits, such as PNA, to purchase its products at a low cost. This package deal includes Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and many other items. I think Photoshop fits perfectly with PNA because it’ll enable us to make graphics for posters, design interesting flyers, and even update images for this very website. Organizations would also be able to use the video editing tips that comes along with Adobe Photoshop. Videos can attract new viewers and supporters, and having a product to creatively edit videos would be a great addition to non-profit organizations.  Another product is the InDesign CS6, which allows you to design professional layouts for flyers, posters, magazines and pamphlets. Since many organizations hold events such as fundraising parties, film screenings and community meetings, InDesign would be an asset that allows you to attract people to these events by using interesting posters and more. Although not all nonprofits would see a benefit with the Adobe Software Donations Program, I think it is something worth considering, especially given its relatively low cost.

    Google for Non-Profit, or G4NP, is another special program that can aide many non-profit organizations. G4NP has various features that offer specialized benefits to nonprofits and allow organizations to apply for Google AdWorks, Google Grants, special YouTube accounts and more. Recently, I applied for the Google YouTube program (for nonprofits) and I am already seeing the advantages. The YouTube account that goes through G4NP allows organizations the option to have a “Donate to this Organization" box right next to any video that the group posts. This is a quick and easy way to fund-raise. While you may not get very much money from this simple donation box, it’s a way to add funds. Since YouTube is so popular, this may be just one more way to draw more people in.Other parts of the program include Google AdWorks, which lets you track donor donations and set up ads to receive revenue. Google Grants, which is connected to Google AdWorks, also enables organizations the opportunity to apply for free online advertising, which would drive up web traffic and raise awareness for PNA's mission. 

    Google for NonProfits and Adobe Software Donations Program are just two products that nonprofits can use to think creatively and help with their image. While it may not work with every organization, it seems like it’ll do wonders for PNA.

By Karima Oglesby.

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