The latest and greatest on CNN iReport, brought to you by Team iReport.
Please join us here in the blog for our weekly roundtable discussion.
We want to hear your ideas for improving the CNN iReport section and making your experience in the community more rewarding. It's been about six months since we redesigned the section, so we want to hear what's working for you and what could work better.
If you have any questions, comments or story ideas, we'd love to talk about those too.
Comments will open at 3 p.m. ET. We'll talk with you then.
We want to congratulate romanmica for being the latest iReporter to reach one million page views on CNN iReport.
If you've seen any of Roman's car reviews, you already know that he's got one of the best jobs in the world. It's hard to beat his commute, unless you get to drive a Tesla Roadster, Jaguar XF Premium, Land Rover L4 or a tire-squealing tire-squealing Chrysler 300C SRT8 with a 400 hp HEMI engine every day.
He's got a great view too. Italy looks great from a Lamborghini Gallardo, especially when legendary test driver Valentine Balboni is behind the wheel.
Roman also offered advice for concerned Toyota Prius drivers and questioned GM's decision to build a 556-horsepower Cadillac station wagon when it's getting taxpayer bailout money. He's also had some fun by doing donuts in a huge Dodge Ram 3500 Dually pickup truck and challenging a Lexus hybrid to a coffee shop race with an electric bike.
Thanks for sharing your stories romanmica and we can't wait to see what you drive up in next.
If you didn't realize it from thumbing through CNN iReport this weekend, World Tai Chi and Qigong Day was taking place all around the world. We've received an overwhelming number of iReports showing us folks participating in events in many, many countries. One iReporter even shared a tantalizing image of cupcakes made especially for the event. Tai Chi is an exercise technique involving gentle, flowing motions.
Check out this sampling of the many photos and videos folks have sent and tell us if you love to do Tai Chi.
It's not easy to eat healthy on the go. It's even more difficult when your closest food options are high in calories, carbs, and fats. For our 'Food court city' assignment, we asked iReporters to take us on a tour of their local eateries and tell us how food choices in their neighborhoods affect their eating habits.
iReporters showed us that, although difficult, it is not impossible to eat healthy even when surrounded by the unhealthiest foods.
Ryn took us on a tour of Knoxville, Tennessee, a city that boasts the most restaurants per capita in the United States. In her video she shows us one part of town that has more than 20 places to grab a bite, many of them being fast food restaurants.
Fast food dominates the city most definitely, she said. “Knoxville has a church and restaurant on almost every corner.
Ryn says that it is imperative that she watches what she eats. She has type 2 diabetes and must take four insulin injections a day. She often prepares meals at home, but when she chooses to eat out, it is almost always somewhere that offers healthy options.
Up north in Everett, Washington, Awakened2 said that although poor choices surround she and her husband they have found delicious and healthy foods. Nestled between McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut -- the usual suspects, as she called them -- is a food co-op that offers organic fruits and vegetables. She and her husband also found an organic delivery service that brings fresh, locally-grown organic foods to their doorstep.
“Food deserts, places with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet, are not just in the United States.
Sherbien took us around the ground floor of his office building in the Philippines that has more than 30 restaurants to choose from. He said that although he tries to eat healthy every day, it's hard to resist the choices in the food court. Only one restaurant in the entire food court offers vegetarian and low-fat foods.
A special thanks to iReporters for showing us around their towns, and giving us advice on how to find healthy foods when the pickings are slim.
Thanks for participating in today's conversation. Please join us next Thursday at 3 p.m. ET
Please join us here at 3 p.m. ET for our weekly roundtable discussion. We want to talk about CNN's new Facebook integration and what it will mean for the CNN iReport community. If you've got ideas about how we could use this feature in the future, we'd love to hear them. We'll also be happy to answer any questions and talk about any other issues in the community.
Comments will open at 3 p.m. ET. We'll look forward to talking with you.
With their camera lenses, iReporters have been documenting the effects of protests that have dominated the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, for more than a month now. The Red Shirts, supporters of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, are demanding that current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve parliament and call new elections. As the weeks have dragged on, the protests have increasingly worn on residents and bystanders, and clashes between police and protesters have intensified.
iReporter MojoBangkok and others have shown us dramatic photos of protesters putting up a bamboo fence with barbed wire to fortify their own checkpoints in and out of their camps. pivatana took pictures of the temporary living arrangements, including showers and restroom facilities. It's hard to imagine such a massive event taking over a city for so long -- and a government allowing this to occur -- so we spoke to Kozzli to find out what it's like. Talking over a rough Skype connection, the retired Englishman said he feels Bangkok is a unique place. He said he believes the protests really couldn't have occurred anywhere else.
From the early beginnings of the "Red Shirt mob" right into the sea of red they had created, we're seeing an immense amount of creativity going into camps of almost unimaginable size. MontanaR sent us striking photos that she said were intended to make a statement about the beauty of the protesters' intentions. We also saw the conflicts that are inevitable with a protest of this size, as heavy police forces clashed with protesters and a group that took off on motorcycles to demonstrate at another location. Damage to windows and other structures was evident in images from dunlevyd. Kozzli alluded to the protests placing strains on the central business district when we interviewed him, and pivatana sent us images of the city "bursting at the seams." The residents of Bangkok even hosted a protest of their own as shown by bangkokdave, demonstrating against the Red Shirts' interruption of their daily lives.
To show how deeply the protests have woven themselves into daily life, jacobhefner juxtaposed the lighthearted New Year celebrations with the protest atmosphere. Kozzli said the traditional caking of faces with flour was translated to the sides of tanks and other structures, meshing together tradition with the protests. We also saw spectacular street art from reddew's photos and images of tanks rolling through the city.
The scope of these protests is almost hard to conceptualize. How would you feel if you were living in Bangkok and witnessing these events? Would you want to join the Red Shirts and protest for weeks on end in the middle of a city? Tell us what you think about the situation in Bangkok in the comments section below, and share your photos and video of protests if you have them.
We're having some technical issues this morning, so we apologize if you've had trouble getting to the CNN iReport section or uploading new stories. Our developers are working on the problem now.
There have also been a fair number of duplicate iReports because of the server glitch. We'll get that cleaned up as soon as we can.
Thanks for your patience.
Last week, I had the lucky opportunity to go to Los Angeles to attend the second annual TEDx conference at the University of Southern California. While there, I met with a group of iReporters at the Cat and Fiddle Pub in Hollywood.
It was surreal and exciting to meet iReport superstars Al, Roberta, Marie, Melissa M., Melissa F. and David. Because of all of their contributions to the site, I felt like I already knew each of them. Everyone's passion for journalism and storytelling was infectious. It was wonderful to see how many of them already knew each other and, in true iReport-style, the event was well documented, with cameras abound. (You can check out some of TheVideoMan's shots here.)
At the conference, I had the pleasure of meeting the next generation of iReporters – students from all disciplines with an interest in the news. It was fantastic to meet so many young folks with such big ideas, and I hope to see some of them on the site soon! I left the TEDx event with plenty of inspiration and ideas for future iReport assignments.
If you're planning hosting an iReport meetup in your town, let us know! We'd love to see photos and help spread the word.
What do you do when you’re face-to-face with the director of the two highest-grossing movies of all time? If you’re iReporter Pixel, you get his views on how to save the environment. She sat down with James Cameron as he promoted the DVD release of “Avatar,” timed for Earth Day next week.
iReporters have had plentiful opportunities to interview celebrities in recent weeks. Thanks to iReporter questions, we already have such memorable moments as Tina Fey and Steve Carell imagining their sitcom characters in a knife fight, the cast of “Kick-Ass” giving out acting career advice, Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence naming their favorite movies of all time, and “American Idol’s” Didi Benami responding to TheVideoMan about her move to Los Angeles (more of these as the season continues).
Recently, Vampire Weekend answered some questions from iReporters as well, sharing their views on music piracy and giving the scoop on their star-studded music video "Giving Up the Gun." Check out that interview above.
Look for more opportunities like these very soon (here’s a hint: Shellhead) on CNN iReport! As a matter of fact, CNN International’s “Connect the World” is looking for questions for guests such as Jerry Springer. So turn on those webcams and let the interview begin!
Please join us here in the blog for our weekly CNN iReport roundtable. We're looking forward to talking with you about what's going on here on CNN iReport and answering your questions.
It's been a really busy week here at CNN iReport, so we want to show off some of the amazing content you've helped create:
'I am transgender, and I want my voice to be heard' -- Jordan did a great job of capturing the struggles these men and women face in their daily lives. We're particularly proud that the CNN iReport community treated these stories and the submitters with kindness and respect.
iReporters also got to help interview the cast of the movie "Kick-Ass" and Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence from "Death at a Funeral." iReporters also got to talk to "Avatar" director James Cameron and golfer Phil Mickelson, who was fresh off his win at the Masters.
To top it all off, we got a visit from Jonx and his wife, who were in town from Switzerland. Plus, the lovely painting WausauFamily's granddaughter made for us just came back from the framer – now we just need to find a place to hang it.
Thanks for a great week.
We'll open comments at 3 p.m. We look forward to talking with you then.
We wanted to let everyone know that we'll be having our weekly CNN iReport roundtable discussion tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET.
It's been a great week in the CNN iReport community and we can't wait to talk with you.
We'll also be happy to answer any questions you may have about CNN iReport.
So join us here in the blog at 3 p.m. ET and be sure to invite your friends.
When a powerful earthquake devastated Haiti in January, James Amerson was one of the many iReporters who wanted to do something to help. The Pensacola, Florida, hair stylist and artist texted $10 to a relief organization, but he felt like he should do more.
Amerson and his friend, Gina Cestaro, have spent the past few weeks organizing the Art of Giving charity auction featuring Pensacola-area artists, including students at The University of West Florida and kids at the Creative Learning Academy. They've listed about 65 items on eBay and he says the donations are still coming in.
The auction opened on Monday and will be running over the next 30 days. Money from the sales will go to Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity and Living Waters – three charities that are active in Haiti.
This is just one example of the generosity we see all the time in the CNN iReport community. If you're doing something to help – in Haiti or in your hometown – please share your story with us. And if you want to volunteer, but don't know where to start, you can check out CNN's Impact Your World page.
Let's face it: Golfers gotta eat, too. The customers and staff of a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop near Augusta National Golf Club got excited about the star golfer's visit -- wearing what appears to be his winning green jacket, or something like it -- on Monday morning after the Masters tournament. kevinbo uploaded the photo and got us in touch with the store, owned by his brother-in-law, and they filled us in on the details.
Customers went wild when Mickelson arrived with his family and store manager Greg Carswell rushed to take the money shot with a cell phone. Owner Walton Guthrie noted that Mickelson was probably making a quick stop before preparing to go to the airport. Mickelson apparently ordered several boxes of donuts in an attempt to abscond to California with the circular pastries. Guthrie tells us the photo just goes to show the "human-interest side" of the games and adds that the store is getting lots of attention from people who've seen the photo in various places.
Just about any time you turn on CNN you’re bound to see iReports. They’re part of the way CNN tells stories from around the world. Today, for example, CNN International is showing iReports from Warsaw about the ways people are mourning the Polish president. And on CNN.com, iReports about bikes in a church, a dramatic apartment fire in New York and a flash mob of dancers in downtown Seattle dot the homepage.
But lately we’re also seeing CNN television shows build regular iReport segments into their plans. Here are a few of the times and places you can count on seeing iReports on TV:
John King USA
John King asks you to make your case on issues in the news. Each Monday the show announces a new challenge, and then plays some of the persuasive and interesting iReports in the show on Friday.
Where and when: CNN, Fridays at 7 p.m. ET
How you can be part of it: Upload a short video making your case on the issue of the week. Complete details »
Every day host Robin Meade shares a message to military troops serving abroad in a regular segment called "Salute to Troops."
Where and when: HLN, weekday mornings from 6-10 a.m. ET. The "Salutes” usually air at 10 minutes after the hour.
How you can be part of it: Post your own salute to those serving abroad on iReport. Complete details »
The World One show on CNN International is all about the day’s news from all over the planet. Every day the show plays a time-lapse video from a different part of the world, and many of them start on iReport.
Where and when: Weekdays at 2130 CET, 1930 GMT on CNN International
How you can be part of it: Share your own timelapse. Complete details »
iReport for CNN
Once a month on CNN International, there’s a whole show dedicated to iReport. You can catch it on the third Thursday of the month on CNN International. Check the showpage for complete showtimes and past episodes
You can tell news is news when people want to tell other people about it. We thought it interesting that iReporters milhaus, sjunat55 and mcintron all came across the same underground fire and decided to document it. milhaus was visiting from Fort Collins, Colorado, and came upon a smoky, bustling scene that told him something was stewing underground. "Heavy, sooty black smoke was pouring out of the ground. Firefighters and rescue workers were everywhere." He just had to get out his camera. "The activity and excitement made me want to share. This was grassroots news."
sjunat55 was just passing through the area when he noticed the commotion. An experienced iReporter, he was taken aback by the active scene around him, but quickly figured out what to do. "It was actually an experience for me," he said, adding that this coverage built his confidence in being able to capture images as events are unfolding before his eyes. Later, mcintron was on her way to see a show in the Theater District when she spotted the same scene and also felt compelled to pull out her camera. Her videos capture the group of emergency vehicles that were still gathered after darkness had fallen. She noted that in typical fashion, her urban brethren were unshaken. In her words: "New Yorkers take everything in stride as people stroll seemingly unperturbed by the massive show of fire fighters and emergency lights."
Three iReporters, one event, three different perspectives. Stories like this are the core of iReport. If you see news happening around you, you might try pulling out your camera and helping to tell the story. You never know who else is out there, too. Be sure to stay safe and avoid unnecessary risks, of course. Show us what's going on near you.
Please join us here in the blog for our weekly roundtable talk, an informal discussion about what's going on at CNN iReport.
We're looking forward to talking about our next weekend assignment – the $10 frugal challenge. This is the final project in this edition of the weekend assignment series, so we're hoping to end with a bang!
And, as always, we'll be happy to answer any questions you have.
Showing the effects of a quake isn't easy, but iReporters found whatever ways they could. They raced to document the water sloshing in their pools, chandeliers shaking and roads and other objects affected by the quake. Their stories were incorporated into TV coverage and a video featured prominently on CNN.com, including sarahklaus21's footage of clouds of dust rising from mountains in Mexico and psfinest's video inside a collectibles store. woooosh submitted surveillance video of rocking cars at the beach, while TheVideoMan incorporated security camera footage into videos featuring interviews with people who experienced the shaking.
The quake generated a lot of online buzz throughout the affected regions, especially since it happened right when some families were celebrating Easter and holding holiday egg hunts. A humorous Jeanne Moos video captures the lighter side of seismic activity at CNN iReport and on YouTube, including swinging model planes filmed by gagboo59 and a baby's first earthquake as documented by csumel.
We're really impressed with the creative ways the community illustrated something that isn't easy to illustrate, and we hope you'll poke around and take a look. And, don't forget to (safely) keep those cameras rolling if you see news near you.
Please join us here in the blog for our weekly CNN iReport roundtable talk, an informal discussion about what's going on at CNN iReport.
We're looking forward to talking about our next weekend assignment – past and present – and will have some tips to help you get started.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to jump in the comments.
We're looking forward to talking with you.