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The High Roller: Experience Vegas from a new perspective

The ever-changing Las Vegas skyline gained a major addition just over two years ago, giving tourists and locals alike the opportunity to see the world famous Las Vegas Strip in a whole new way.

The High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, opened March 31, 2014 by lighting up the center of the Strip with its multicolored dancing lights.

The wheel sits at the end of The Linq Promenade, a shopping, dining and entertainment district between the Linq and Flamingo hotels, according to Vegas.com.

The observation wheel has a 520-foot diameter and gained its world-record status by beating out the London Eye’s 394-foot diameter and the Singapore Flyer’s 492-foot diameter.

The appropriately named, High Roller, runs parallel to the Las Vegas Strip and gives riders a unique and affordable view of the Las Vegas valley.

When you hop aboard one of the 28 glass-enclosed cabins, which fit up to 40 people, your 30-minute adventure begins. And that adventure could include unlimited alcohol for that 30 minutes if you select that package.

The Happy Half Hour package includes open bar for everyone in the pod. The open bar package features specialty Las Vegas and High Roller themed beverages, drinks made-to-order, and a celebratory shot at the very top.

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The wheel’s light display is constantly changing colors and has been used to highlight special events and holidays. The wheel turned bright green during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Everyone within viewing range of the week should expect it to be red, white and blue for the Fourth of July next week.

Although it is still fairly new compared to other Las Vegas attractions, the High Roller has made its mark as the centerpiece of the Las Vegas Strip and will continue to draw tourists and locals to the Linq Promenade and the High Roller.

For pricing and packages, check out Caesars.com.

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The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada

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The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada is located in downtown Las Vegas near Maryland Parkway and Lewis Avenue.

According to The Center’s website, they are a “community-based organization, [that] supports and promotes activities directed at furthering the well-being, positive image, and human rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, its allies, and low to moderate income residents in Southern Nevada.”

John Klai and Jon Sparer are a gay couple who work in architecture and helped design and build The Center.
John Klai and Jon Sparer are a gay couple who work in architecture and helped design and build The Center.

The Center offers group activities, resources, a cafe, a library and more to the LGBTQ community and its allies.

The youth center currently offers Comprehensive Sex Education classes to Vegas-area teens ages 13 to 18 for no charge over the course of six to eight weeks. Youth Resource Specialist AJ Holly Huth said The Center’s youth will be putting on a production based on the Stonewall Riots, called The Night We Stood Together. The 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, New York, are considered the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement. The riots took place in a time where gay Americans had to face an anti-gay legal system.

The Center held a memorial service after the LGBTQ-targeted shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub, in Orlando. Forty-nine people were killed. “The response from Metro was unbelievable,” Huth said about the service. “It’s nice to see that the police are now our protectors instead of harassers,” she added.

Over half of their menu has vegan and vegetarian options.
Over half of their menu has vegan and vegetarian options.

One of The Center’s most well-known attributes is The Bronze Cafe, located in the lobby. It is independently owned and operated by Chef Peter Bastien and serves a variety of food.

The Center also has a lending library with thousands of books and hundreds of DVDs. Materials will be lent to anyone with an ID for up to two weeks for free. Although the majority of the material is LGBTQ in nature, they also offer a variety of mainstream works, both contemporary and classic in nature.

The lending library is named after Democratic state senator representing District 7, David R. Parks.

I chose this topic because The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada is an important part of the Las Vegas community and serves many purposes for the LGBTQ members, especially with the recent violence in Orlando. All I had to do to take photos was ask permission, which was happily granted.

To take these photos, I used the latest Apple technology on the iPhone SE 12 megapixel iSight camera. The camera is equip with auto image stabilization, a backside illumination sensor, 2.2 aperture, and autofocus with Focus Pixels.

Check out the rest of the photos from The Center on my Flickr page.

Journalists enhance stories with Web 2.0 technology

In a world that revolves around technology, most companies and professions are being forced to change with the times. This is no different for people, like myself, who work in the news business. Reporters are expected to report, obviously, but in order to be trusted and respected sources of news, they are expected to do much more than that.

Multimedia news is growing and people in the business need to grow with it. Stories are not just written, printed in the paper, and delivered to people’s doors anymore. The number of ways people consume news is infinite, and a good journalist should have the drive and desire to get their stories out on as many platforms as possible.

Using social media to tease and link to stories helps reporters build a following and readership. Using photos, videos, data, charts, maps, soundbites, etc. keep the reader interested and engaged and allows for more stimulation than black ink on a page or screen does.

Some news organizations have begun to master the multimedia world. The New York Times did just that with their recent piece on the Memorial Day killings in Chicago. In my opinion, this article is an exemplary of extraordinary multimedia use. The online article includes video compilations of footage from the scenes of the crime, photos with amazing quality and composition, a timeline-like arrangement of photos and videos, scanner audio, social media posts from victims just before their death, statistics and maps and anything else they could do to add an extra element to the story. This article is an excellent piece of journalism an an example of why more journalists should want to learn all of the skills that go into creating a masterpiece like it.

The Wall Street Journal created a video about the importance of journalism organizations adapting to the use of mobile devices to consume media. Employees of well-known media organizations give testimony to the importance of creating an experience for readers beyond just words on their devices.

Journalism has changed. The world has changed. Journalists who plan on being successful in this ever-changing business need to be able to adapt.

 

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