The following is about a Ferris in Focus segment. For the cable network, see Versus (TV channel)

"Versus" is a segment of Ferris in Focus which compares two relatively similar products in a given market and allows students to judge for themselves which one is best suited to their needs. "Versus" shares its weekly production teams with "E-News."


iPad vs. Kindle

The ND and Andrika Lyons host the Versus segment, in which they compare and contrast the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle. ND starts by talking about the iPad; opening by discussing how it can be used to view videos e-mail, pictures, even read e-books. He continues by stating that the iPad's screen is a touch screen with a high-resolution display. It also has a 24-oz weight, meaning it is great for use both around the house and elsewhere. It even comes with an up-datable wireless 3G network if a data plan is purchased.

After ND finishes trashing the Kindle, Andrika discusses its features. These include wireless web access, which allows viewers easy access to Wikipedia if they need it. Also, the Kindle is a lot cheaper than the iPad. The battery of a Kindle lasts a lot longer, and doesn't require syncing with a computer. Also, the Kindle can store up to 1,500 publications.

  • Winner: ND

Amp versus Rockstar

ND and Andrika resume their roles as hosts, with the topic this week being energy drinks. At this point, Versus was still a segment that focused on products, rather than on pop culture in general.

The ND took the side of Amp Lightning Energy, while Andrika stood behind Rockstar's Energy Recovery. ND opens by discussing the lemon flavor of his Amp drink, and how at the price, he'd have three. Andrika counters that "lemony goodness" is "for grannies," and that Rockstar is for users who "want to rock." She also points out that Rockstar has a very smooth taste, without the aftertaste that characterizes Amp.

Both argue that their drinks will keep drinkers up for hours with hyperactivity, but only Rockstar has the electrolytes to counter-act caffeinated jitters. They finished by warning viewers that pregnant women should avoid energy drinks. According to Andrika, it's "like giving the baby cocaine." ND reminds everyone that taurine comes from ox bile.

Winner: Draw

Firefox versus Chrome

Still not fully into the act of their roles yet, ND and Andrika spent this segment arguing very civilly about which web browser is better: Firefox or Chome?

ND started off by stating that Firefox was invented first. Mozilla created it and it was "made by nerds, for nerds...and nerds don't like change." Therefore, he predicted that Firefox would have a very long market life. Andrika conceded that Firefox's existence made Chrome's unnecessary; but pointed out that Chrome was viewed as an essential breakthrough by Google since Google "wants to own everything anyway."

While not entirely true, ND made the allegation that Chrome "is about as appealing and skinnable as Internet Explorer...6.5...1998 Edition." (In 1998, Windows 98 used Internet Explorer 4.)

Andrika conceded that Chrome was newer and had bugs. However, because it's Google, she argued the community for it would one day grow big enough to reasonably compete with Firefox. ND took jabs at early Chrome not having "a drop-down bar" nor "a super-accurate history." Andrika countered that it had an all-purpose "omni-bar" instead. ND insisted that even if Chrome had a brighter future, Firefox would not be going away right away. The two agreed to put differences aside just long enough to acknowledge "that Internet Explorer is still worse than either."

Babies versus the Elderly

This week's edition had the ND arguing that the elderly are more fun to be around than babies, with Andrika defending the side of babies. The ND's opening argument was that babies are smelly and dependent. Andrika argued that the extremely elderly can also be dependent and smelly. And unlike babies, the elderly can also smell like looming death. ND countered that babies are impossible to hold an intelligible conversation with, to which Andrika responded that babies are easier to please.

The elderly can play games with you. Babies look better in swimsuits. The elderly can have custom-tailored clothes; whereas babies have their moms shop at Baby Gap. Babies are smooth while the elderly are wrinkly. Elderly men have more applications for their gums than babies do. It degenerated into a "you suck, no you suck" debate between the two hosts. Glen likewise asked that future producers try to have the hosts behave a little more maturely than that.

Kermit versus Elmo

This segment led to some major creative differences between producers, that was later resolved. It proved to be one of the most heated debates of them all, with the ND and Andrika arguing over whether Kermit or Elmo was the better Muppet. ND opened that Elmo "has eyes that are evil," and that "you should never let your children play with that thing." A picture showed up next to ND, depicting Elmo in gangster attire. ND got to fill in his segment by saying: "This segment is brought to you by the letter 'S,' as in 'Suck it, Elmo'!"

Andrika countered that ND's the bigger liar; and that Kermit was literally made from an old coat. She then responded: "This segment's also brought to you by the letters 'E' and 'F' in: 'Eat it, frog'!"

ND responded that Kermit is enough of a classic to have a coat made of Kermits worn by Lady Gaga. Andrika replied that Elmo's not as new as some believe. He first featured in 1969; but didn't become a major part of Sesame Street until 1985. That was the first time that a puppeteer bothered giving Elmo either a name or a laugh.

ND cheaply remarked that Elmo is red, and therefore, a communist. Andrika countered that Elmo is more commercial-friendly than Kermit. The Tickle-Me-Elmo toy caused as big a stir as the Cabbage Patch Kids did a decade earlier. Kermit toys never caused a fad that big. In the final edit, the two hosts smugly smiled about how the segment ended. The original cut had Andrika referring to Kermit as "being the color of baby crap and vomit."

Due to this segment's divisive original cut, future installments dealt more with violence in general while avoiding discussions of excrement and steering clear of "foul language." By Show #10, both the violence and toilet humor were gone.

Vampires versus Werewolves

The ND opened arguments that werewolves are old enough in legend "to have their own evolutionary path." He argued: "vampires, by contrast, evolutionary mishap."

Andrika fired back that vampires originate from Transylvania in popular legend. They also were rumored to live in mansions, and could live anywhere so long as there was nightfall. By contrast, werewolves were said to live in wet, smelly places and in caves.

ND retaliated by pointing out that werewolves can travel to almost anywhere; and are not restricted to red-eye flights. He pointed to pop-ups on screen of film adaptations of a werewolf in a specific geographic location other than Transylvania. This included 1935's Werewolf in London and 1981's An American Werewolf in London, as well as 1997's An American Werewolf in Paris. He followed up by pointing to a CGI "souvenir" of a severed arm in a glass sphere.

Andrika pointed out that vampires were increasingly becoming sex symbols in popular culture, whereas werewolves were becoming increasingly viewed as simply disgusting. ND fired back that this was illogical: true vampires would not have an actual pulse or bloodflow. And with neither of those, there wouldn't be much of a complexion either.

ND then decided to list all the things that can kill a vampire:

  1. Raw garlic
  2. Garlic bread
  3. Garlic salt
  4. Garlic powder
  5. Holy water
  6. Crosses
  7. the heart or head

Meanwhile, the extremely rare silver bullet is all that can supposedly kill a werewolf.

Andrika countered that vampires are better at hiding and can smell blood sooner. They also make better, more silent stalkers and assassins; capable of devouring a victim before the victim even knows it. Werewolves don't have the advantage of stealth.

The segment also originally covered the drawbacks to a vampire's all-blood diet and a werewolf's all-meat diet. However, that was cut for time along with a lot of other details. Neither side could agree to a winner.

iTunes Store versus Zune Pass

ND took the side of Zune Pass, stating you could get a lot of stuff from it—almost unlimited downloads—provided you had $15 a month to blow on it. Zune lets you keep ten songs a month that never expire; but it will nuke all your music immediately once you stop paying for it; including songs you already paid for.

Andrika still shrugged off the offer, since iTunes allows access to over 10 million songs as opposed to the mere 4.6 million offered by Zune. However, ND countered that there’s a plus to Zune’s method over that employed by iTunes: Zune’s method allows you to put a lot of songs on a Zune unit without having to pay a ton of money. Filling a full-sized iPod with all legally-downloaded songs would cost about $30,000. However, a Zune filled entirely with as much music as an iPod can hold would, to keep it at that level, require someone to pay $45,000 over the course of 250 years.

Zune doesn’t allow anyone to burn CD’s also; but it does connect to the Xbox. By contrast, iTunes does allow CD burning. Yet, an iTunes app for the Xbox has yet to be invented.

The '70's versus the '80's

First things first: students are expected to have a decent resume before they attempt anything workforce-related. Angie Roman of Student Career Services remarked in an interview that the biggest mistake she’d seen of students is mistaking a resume for a portfolio catalog. Another mistake often made is that students show a total history of everything they’ve ever done in terms of work history and community service. However, everyone is encouraged to keep more than one type of resume handy. Each resume should be geared towards showing one’s qualifications towards working one or another specific type of job.

Araxie Zaleski, a Public Relations major, argued that community service is often downplayed by students who have it. Concerning dress, men are expected to wear simple suits. Women have trickier options to sort though. There are pants suits and suits with skirts, as well as other various options. Women are expected to research the culture of whatever company they apply for to figure out how to dress.

Angie went on that one should know what type of interview they’re going to: a one-on-one or a gang-up. Attitude factors in a lot more than it should also.

X-Men versus Heroes


The ND and Andrika duke it out.

The ND and Andrika debated which franchise was better than the other; as the ND claimed X-Men is better while Andrika, dressed as Sylar, promoted Heroes.

The ND argued that Heroes is "a hack of a show," that X-Men came first, that X-Men became a motion picture franchise while Heroes didn't, that the X-Men are actual superheroes within their framework while the various leads of Heroes only try to be superheroes, and so on.

He also pointed out how the plot of Heroes is simpler because everything revolves around Sylar in the end. He drove his point even further home by mentioning that Wolverine has claws whilst Claire does not. He also argued that Wolverine isn't as suicidal as Claire; meaning that the temporal paradoxes he deals with are not as much like Groundhog Day as Claire's. And unlike Claire, Wolverine doesn't have to deal with butterfly effects quite as often. He also points out that My Way Entertainment has never made a Heroes parody. He conceded, however, that the X-Men "have no fashion sense" because they wear spandex, and that Heroes is easier to follow.

Andrika argued that Heroes doesn't require you to know Norse mythology to understand the plot, while showing a picture of Thor to back up her argument. She also reminded ND that Heroes has used nearly all the same tropes as X-Men, but in more realistic ways. Characters in Heroes are more believable because they refuse to wear spandex, as a picture of Jean Grey demonstrated just how bad spandex costume design can be. She conceded, however, that Heroes was more recent.

Of interesting note, Andrika was dressed in a black jacket and black baseball cap, to look more like Sylar. When she stopped time to slice ND's forehead, the sound effect was identical to that used by Hiro Nakamura on Heroes. The ND's forehead was cut in a manner consistent with one of Sylar's victims. In fact, it resembled Hiro's vision of Jackie Wilcox in "Pass/Fail." His "blood" was a mixture of chocolate and strawberry syrup, similar to what was used to create Matt Parkman's nosebleed in "Fallout." Abilities portrayed in the video included invisibility, lie detection, space-time manipulation, and telekinesis.

  • Winner: Andrika

Organic versus Preservatives

After apparently being appalled by the violence in episode 9, Megan took over production of this segment with the express goal of ensuring that hosts ND and Andrika Lyons had a "somewhat friendlier and more factual" competition. Andrika started off saying that she wanted to give viewers the full load of what organic foods offered—how much healthier you'd be eating them. The ND replied that preservatives in foods keep them around longer-and are therefore a more budget-friendly option.

ND jumped in by arguing that organic foods are "a big fake," and that the same nutrients exist in most preserved foods. On top of that, he argued that Michigan's unemployment rate at the time was a whopping 14%—making it prohibitive to waste money on organic foods in such a bad economy. Andrika sighed back that another 25 years of eating "canned garbage" would take its toll on the ND's figure. On top of that, some preservatives have been found to be unsafe.

ND was forced to respond like a gentleman with: "Zinger! How rude!" This is a line he normally would not say; but was reduced to in keeping with Megan's protest of all the flying and decapitation implied in episode 9. Andrika argued that "for only a little more, organics will be safer." ND rebutted that preserved foods are still plenty-edible, and cost a fifth as much money. ND then finished by saying: "Face lost this time." Andrika responded that when he's morphed by chemicals, and everyone's laughing at his tombstone; he'll be singing a different tune.

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