Blogs

We hope to have some blogs from our department to share with you shortly. In the meantime, you can look at other blogs written by the College of Arts & Sciences community.

Thank you, Internet, for remembering

Before I begin this blog entry, I have a confession to make.  I spend entirely too much time on the Internet.  I don’t really have a good excuse for it (although if you gave me about ten seconds I could probably think up a decent or mediocre reason), it just happens.  Even as I type this entry I have four tabs open on Firefox and I’m checking them like a conspiracy theorist checks his tinfoil hat; that is to say, frequently and with much paranoia that something has happened and I’m not aware of it.

On a certain level, I hate the Internet for this.  I spent four hours outside at a nice picnic today, eating sun-warmed food and breathing air that was neither cooled by an air-conditioning unit nor stank of food left by coworkers in the office fridge, yet as soon as the picnic was over I had to hurry back to my desk and open those four tabs to make sure all was still well and good.  Yet as much as I loathe this wretched creation of man for intertwining itself so closely in my life and workplace that I can never hope to escape its foul clutches for more than a few hours at a time, I realize that deep down I truly love the Internet, for the simple reason that it remembers what I would otherwise forget.

Baby Steps

I walk to work. Everyday. I realize that not everyone has this opportunity, and even when presented with it, often times it is not the most logical or efficient means of commuting. Fortunately for me, walking to work is the best way to commute. Stepping out my door, I stick in my ear buds and within 15 minutes or so, I'm at the office. Walking to work gives me a chance to clear my mind and commute peacefully, not having to deal with rush hour traffic. With the morning sun shining down on me, I know it's going to be a good day - and I haven't even had my first cup of coffee.

What DA FONT!!!!

I am a huge fan of fonts. I think they bring personality to a banner, log, poster, or even a word doc. In this blog I will be discussing where to find free cool fonts and how to put them on your computers font library. 

First you need to get on the in-tro-net (Internet) and type in free fonts into google, my favorites are Dafonts.com. Once you find a site you like you should explore all of the different genres of fonts and select some that you think could be used on different projects. Once you find one you like you press download. The font is then downloaded as a .ZIP file in downloads folder, there are usually two or three different files that come inside the .ZIP. You then take the files and drag them into the font library, which is located under Library->Fonts. The font is now in all of the applications on your computer. Have fun exploring the different places to use different fonts to make you piece more visually pleasing!

   

Photoshop Express application

I've recently joined the iPhone cult, finally laying the 2 year old Nokia premium go-phone to rest. I'm not big on filling my phone up with alot of stupid games and apps like "ghost tracker" or a "fart app" (yes, that's a real app), however one worthwhile application that I've stumbled upon is Photoshop express. This app takes the very basics of Photoshop and puts them at your fingertips. You can edit photos on the fly right when you take them or you can choose photos from your camera roll. It really does an awesome job at doctoring up your pictures on an already awesome picture taking device. The best thing about it is that it is, surprisingly, a free application. Basic tools but its a good way to doctor some photos if you plan on sending them via text or uploading straight to Facebook or Twitter.

Organization with: Springpad

I was looking for an audio recording app for my Android when I stumbled on this: http://springpadit.com

This handy app does quit a bit and I am very excited to use it.

It’s an organizational tool that is comprised of, “Notebooks.”

You can add as many Notebooks as you like, label them, and change their color.

Sir Ken Robinson on Changing Education Paradigms

A truly amazing, and inspiring lecture by reknown education reformist and creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson. The first clip is an abbreviated version complete with some equally amazing hand drawn animation! Robinson speaks of public school's dated, factory-like, model of processing children like products, and makes a very humorus, but also scary look at the increasing use of medication to numb our children into conformity. Also look out for his TED talks. Have a great weekend!

You can also watch the full, hour-long version of this speech below:

 

Memory

While I was taking an online class (PSY 311), the professor, Dr. Golding, prompted us to think about what memory means to us and how it affects our lives.  At first, I thought about how memory enables me to pass a test, or beat a video game, function at work or in my social life.  After thinking about the question for some time, however, I realized that without memory we would be nothing more than plants.  As a species, we would have no consciousness and be essentially mindless.  Naturally, one hears about certain people who have lost the ability to remember their past or form new memories, but they still manage to have some sense of inner memory which enables them to survive.

Collaborations

Yesterday I started a video project with two artists I have become friends with.
They are making a music video and need someone to teach them how to edit/edit the video they shot.

They are both photographers.
I am a video editor.

We sit down together and I begin to demonstrate the basics of editing a video.
Immediately one of the artists wants to adjust the colors, contrast and other various elements that I knew nothing about.

So we look at Final Cut's effects and their faces light up. They know what all of the photographic terms mean and they start playing and discussing the features with excitement.

I then show them how long it will take to render their adjustments.
A conclusion is made; it is better to alter the effects after we have done basic editing.

I learned about adjusting color.
They learned about video editing processes and render time.

We then move back to basic editing.
The other artist explains how he wants the video to look, where the cuts should go and so on.
We do a few short edits and the two photographers are floored.
They loved it! It looks great!

I mention, the fact that there is no audio...
Yes, we were editing a music video with no audio.

30 Minute Work Intervals

During the first few weeks of my internship, I needed to learn the basics of the company - how it works, the nuances, dynamics, and the office jargon; and how I'd fit and be needed.

Flustered by the amount of information before me, and an ever-building workload, I decided to break up various components of my job into 30-minute segments.

I would sit down and dedicate the first 30 minutes of my time in the morning to checking email, and reading blogs (pertinent to the company, of course!).

Then I would delegate another 30 minutes to reviewing the history of the company.

After that I would work on design - learn programs the company uses and do any sort of design work that they needed done that I was capable of doing.

After each 30-minute period, I would move on to something else.

This technique worked wonders for getting things done!

I was able to return to previous projects for another 30-minute period later, but with different information and insight that I had accumulated from all of my other projects.

Social Media and Self-Representation: a Selective, Self-Imposed Surveillance

As of late, I have been intensely interested in how people of my general age bracket (25-35) represent themselves online, and why they represent themselves in the ways that they do.  Unfortunately, this post will probably raise more questions than answers, but I hope to begin a dialogue that will enrich our awareness of how social media, self-knowledge, and self-representation intersect. 

At work, my colleagues and I have regular conversations and debates about the usage of Facebook and other social media.  What purpose does it serve?  How do people use it and misuse it?  How much is too much?  My part in the great Facebook debate always turns to how annoying all the blatant self-promotion is that some folks enjoy on one hand, or public self-flagellation on the other.  I am sure, however, that if you went through past status updates you would find that I am guilty of this from time to time as well, almost without awareness. 

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