January 2010 Archives

Home Movies

The next story that I viewed is here, under "Family" and titled Home Movies. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the movie on YouTube (sorry).

This was a compilation of old home movies, edited and pieced together. Dana Atchley found a collection of photographs and film from his childhood to tell a story about his home and his family. The mixture of film footage really had a nice effect; I thought it to be a unique way of telling a story. Not only was there a nice array of footage, but also the images captured on film expanded across a long strip of time. The sense of time passing occurs in the aging images and growing clarity on film -very creative possibility for storytelling and something I plan on keeping in mind (how to demonstrate the passage of time visually).

            I think the same artistry could be applied to still images and it would be a nice way to retell a personal story. The narration was smooth and poignant, though very positive, which I think comes from a good draft of a script.  A lot of elements/mediums are at work in this very short clip from writing and editing/placement of clips, to narration and soundtrack. The CDS website has a variety of interesting film clips that exemplify many different techniques and personal touches (I watched a few). I picked this story because I just found the old film footage to be quite refreshing and uplifting.



America is for dummies?

America for Dummies

A few weeks ago, there was a significant hullabaloo in the American media world about whether Conan or Leno was going to get the boot from NBC. So in an attempt to form my own opinion on the matter, I started watching both shows and building comparisons in my head about which was better: Conan or Leno. In one particular episode, Jay Leno played a segment in which he walked around the streets of L.A. with pictures of important figures in the political world, from Nancy Pelosi to Kim Jong-il. Funnily enough, in his other hand he carried pictures of celebrities from Paris Hilton (yes, I do think its accurate to label her has a celebrity socialite) to William Hung.  Leno showed the pictures to young people on the streets asking them to identify the individual in the picture. The results were depressing -very few young people could identify their elected officials, almost all of the celebrities were quickly recognized.

 

This kind of apathy plagues American culture. Media obsession and celebrity lifestyle have trumped social issue and political awareness on the ladder of importance for young people.

 

The short film, "America for Dummies" is a brilliant work that builds upon the ideas aforementioned. Niaz Mosharraf directs a series of media clips and personal interviews in order to create a fascinating documentary on the apathetic nature of the American youth. It is really quite jarring to hear and see people speaking their minds. The direct footage of young people (just as the Jay Leno show did) instigates thinking and self-reflection in such a way as to connect viewers to the documentary.  It has that personal element into which any person watching can invest.

 

Another aspect to this documentary that I enjoy is its  "rawness." Mosharraf is not likely to soften the blows of the ever-present truths in this film. The language is real, the people are real and so are the images. I really think this is a serious social trend: the ambition towards materialism and an obsession with material things.

 

What does it mean for the future of this world when its future leaders are entirely indifferent to and unenthusiastic about social issues (the issues that will make or break our ability to live happily in the future as a global society)?  This seems to be THE question that is left unanswered and I like that the documentary pushes toward THE question.  What will happen if we continue on in apathy?


In conclusion: I think that Conan should have been able to keep his spot on The Tonight Show. Although he's got the chin, Leno certainly does not have the hair.  


p.s. Watch the film, its really great!



Posting your digital story analysis to blog

Okay, here's a few links to sites with Digital Stories:

The Center for Digital Storytelling has a whole slew of digital stories.

Here's some digital stories created by your fellow U of M students in a class co-taught by Walt Jacobs.

Media that Matters has some interesting stories. Just click on the images to the right of the short intro film that plays when you first go to the site.

Helpful reminders and tips:

The assignment due by 5 pm next Monday requires you to view two digital stories and analyze one of them.  Your analysis must be about 200 words long, must be posted to the blog and must contain (at least) the link to the story you are analyzing.  

To post a link: First drag your cursor over the title of the digital story you are linking to in order to highlight it.  Then click the link button on the toolbar [it looks like a chain].  Clicking on that button opens a pop up window into which you can paste the url of the website you want us to view.  All we need to do to view the link is click it.  I tried to do this in the entry preceding this one (scroll down) but was foiled in linking directly to the video I wanted so I found I had to give you readers a few directions to help you find the right movie.


If you want you can also embed the video to the blog.  This requires a couple more steps.  I found a digital story I liked on the Center for Digital Storytelling website but was not clever enough to figure out how to get the code from the site to embed it on our blog, so I searched and found it on YouTube.  At YouTube they actually have a little box called "Embed" which contains the code to embed video on a blog or website.  It looks like this:

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All you need to do here is COPY the code contained in the Embed box.


Once you've copied the code in the box, return to the blog and click on the button to switch the blog entry mode from WYSIWYG mode to HTML mode.  This button is on the toolbar on the far right side and looks like this:

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After you click on it, the entry you're writing will stop looking normal and have a bunch of code and weird symbols and characters that make sense to your friends in Computer Science but looks like gibberish to most of the rest of us.  When you get this page in HTML mode, paste the code from the embed box from YouTube (or the code from wherever you found your story) at the end of your entry.  Click preview and see if it works before you Save and publish your entry.


Digital Stories, linked and embedded

Here's a good digital story called "Home Movies" I found at the CDS website.  I can't figure out how to get the dig. story to link directly from the hypertext in the first sentence, but you can see the story in the menu near the bottom of the page.  Check it out.

Here's my attempt to embed a video directly to the blog.




Watching Grunge leg-drop New Jack through a press table.

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List of Doom

      1. George Washington- the movie, not the president.

      2. The Feelies- neurotic New Jersey guitar wizards

      3. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon- sprawling, moving, gorgeous novel about comic books, escape artists, and the Holocaust.

      4. Lenny Bruce: Live from Carnegie Hall- "Its Andrew Stone in Freak-o-scope"

      5. Wanda by Rivers Cuomo- haunting and lonely song from the King of geeks himself.

      6. Dr. Strangelove- you can't fight in here.

      7. The Legend Of Zelda- because I am a nerd.

      8. Seasons 3-8 of the Simpsons- "They sing without juicers, they sing without blenders. They sing without flunjers, capdablers, and smendlers."

      9. Dazed and Confused- because Martha Washington was a hip, hip, hip lady, man.

      10. Bicycle Thieves- because we all need to be filled with despair now and then.

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Top Ten Goodies

1) Hostess Donettes. They're so delicious, so cheap, and so bad for you

2) Ferrari F430 Scuderia, most beautiful car ever, nuff said

3) Pizza (Minus freschetta and digiorno)

4) Backpacking/camping

5) dog park, no one can ever have a bad day after they've been to the dog park

6) Action movies, specifically Gladiator and the upcoming Robin Hood

7) Werewolves of London

8) One Hundred Years of Solitude

9) Dry grass, I can't emphasize the importance of this

10) My Surefire and Benchmade

dig-doug

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Things I dig.. by doug:
 (not in any particular order)

Favorite TV:  Dexter

Favorite Movie:  So many to choose.. I'd say, anything by John Waters

Favorite Music:  I listen to lots of different stuff, from Metallica to Motown. Although lately David         Guetta has been on my playlists in my Zune.  His show last November was pretty sweet too.

Favorite Computer Mac or PC:  PC, unless I am doing some photo editing. I also prefer Zune over iPods.  hehe

Favorite Food: I love food. I could have a Top Ten for the restaurants and types of food in the Twin Cities area. Most recent restaurant.. "Buca Chica"  Mmm  the raspberry lemon drop is tasty!

Favorite Book(s):  John Sandford's "Prey" books..  I own almost all of them.. need to read more soon.

Favorite Cartoon Character:  Scooby-Doo...  What Would Scooby-Doo? 

Favorite Car:  My war-pony.  The 98 Mustang that is currently frozen into the earth behind my apartment. It needs some TLC before I can unleash the beast from it's frozen slumber.  *sad-face*

Favorite City:  Hmm.. I have SO many favorites, I'd have to say all of them.  Each time I travel to a new place it's an adventure and I make the best of the moment. Although, driving through Mumfordville, KY was not so much fun.. Southern states make me nervous.

Favorite Holiday:  Halloween.  It's always fun to dress up like a fool and trot around a heavily populated metro area committing debaucherous and slightly illegal things.  :)

There you have it.. can you dig it?


Quentin's Top 10 Random Things

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Here is a short list of the things I enjoy, from music to food to movies and so on. It's a very limited list but is pretty accurate.

Quentin Rouhoff's Top Ten: A random list of things I like

                Fast Food - McDonald's, only for the McChickens though.

                TV Show - Dexter.

                Band - Sublime

                Beer - Michelob Golden Draft Light

                Animal - snakes

                Thing to do to kill time - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on Xbox 360

Movie - anything with an epic story, as long as it's at least partially historically accurate and has lots of action. Or anything by Quentin Tarantino.

Stand-up comics - Nick Swardson, Dave Chapelle, Kat Williams, Daniel Tosh

                Food - Steak and potatoes, or BBQ pork

                Sport - To play: baseball. To watch: football



Sunnys' things he does.

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 Weather related radars that show earths weather I like to view. 

 

Minneapolis metropolitan freeway and roadway cameras I like to view.

 

Hair shaping or shearing I like to use the scissor shears and permanent rollers.    Beautician cosmetologist I had worked those sort of chairs for an occupation.

 

Ceremonies that enlighten my learning and like to be in attendances. 

 

Cameras I like to use to record photos and motion video scenes.  Weather, birds, animals doing their daily lives I like to record.

 

Tree's and Plants I like to gather and plant.  Berry trees are some or those trees.

 

Music of certain varieties that turns on certain emotions and bodily feelings I listen to.  One such musical group is Brule' and many that surround the drums of powwows.

 

Searching internet for old books, magazines that contains reports of investigations that occurred to Certain People of the Turtle Island Continent.

 

Time, to see, look and feel while walking, sitting, standing near the Lake Superior shores or places that area away from most noises I like to be...

 

Foods that are not costly and much can be eaten at a low cost I like.

 

Language that does a mind, body, spirit good I like.

 

10 Things Ali Loves

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1.       I love winter. I someday hope to live in Antarctica, as part of the support staff on Palmer or Amundsen-Scott station.    

2.       I love biking. I hope to someday to bike across an entire country. (But perhaps not this country.)

3.       I love mistakes. I was once supposed to have a one-hour connection in Rome. I missed my plane, and it ended up being a 30-hour connection. It was my first time alone in a foreign country, and it was one of the best days of my life.

4.       I love black and white films. Roman Holiday, with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, is my favorite.

5.       I love folk-rock. Simon and Garfunkel is my favorite band. America, by Simon and Garfunkel, is my favorite song.

6.       I love Nikon. (But Canon is okay too, if you're into that sort of thing.)

7.       I love going new places. I have set foot on every continent aside from South America and Antarctica. I was once 30 kilometers from Venezuela, but not close enough yet.

8.       I love Minnesota. What a wonderful state. How lucky we get to live here instead of Iowa.

9.       I love bookstores. I have a favorite spot in the shelves of the University bookstore where I sit and read between classes.

10.   I love the book Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett. It is staring at me from my book shelf right now. I am going to go and read it instead of writing this list.


Spencer's Top Ten

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I've listed ten things that at the moment, I find ironic, depressing, or somehow telling about something in American consumer culture.

 

Consumer culture is a funny thing. It brings us everything that we want, but like any societal output, has no choice but to fully reflect exactly who we are, in a positive and a negative way.




10. Diet Pills

 

Yes, I went there. My first stop along this trek of questionable validity is to the clichéd, over-discussed diet pill.

 

The concept is simple. You ate too much food, and nothing that was particularly healthy. You didn't exercise. And now that all of the media images of thin people have thoroughly ashamed you, you want an easy out to the easy in.

 

A pill. Just take it for two weeks, and you will look like someone who should be on the cover of a magazine. It's that easy!

 

Companies spend millions of dollars trying to find a "cure" for obesity, and marketing it as a pill.

 

Unfortunately, there already is a cure for obesity. Diet and exercise work great for the strong-willed, except in extreme cases.

 

As far as I know, there are not effective pharmaceuticals against many other diseases, like most types of cancer or AIDS. Heck, even our cure for malaria could use improvement.

 

But, there is less of a market for them.



 

9. Fast Food Commercials

 

You know what I mean. The commercial starts, and there is a series of high-quality images of tantalizing food, coupled with a smooth voiceover explaining the deal or just how delicious the food is.

 

When I was eight, I saw a commercial for a "chalupa" at Taco Bell. I had no idea what a chalupa was, only that it was large and delicious (based on the commercial).

 

I really wanted a chalupa. I reminded my parents of this desire quite constantly. Finally, I convinced my parents to buy me one.

 

It was smaller than my hand.

 

Is that really so bad, though? Perhaps what the $1.99 really bought was the ability to recognize deceitful food advertising.

 

But, in effect, all advertising is the same as that chalupa commercial.  So when your new i-Phone doesn't make you a master at networking, and your palm pilot doesn't make you any more organized or help you arrive early to meetings, remember the chalupa.



 

8. Facebook Games

 

Every so often, I remember to log into Facebook. Once inside, I look at the "live feed", which lists all sorts of random posts and messages in order of decreasing recency.

 

I keep seeing weird messages like "Kelly found a hidden stash in Vampire Wars!" or "Brett found a pink cow in Farmville" or "Ross leveled up in Mafia Wars!"

 

Hmm, I thought. There are a lot of different games to choose from. So I tried a couple.

 

Thematically, yes. Each game was unique. But something about the gameplay seemed so very similar, so very familiar.

 

They were all made by the same company. Kind of makes me wonder about competing brands in real life.



 

7. Organic

 

I really want to feel positively about organic food. And in many cases, I do. But, there are so many problems with the concept.

 

First, the food is organic. Is the packaging? As far as I can tell, there is little difference between the packaging of organic and non-organic foods, the main of which being that organic food usually has green packaging and the word "ORGANIC!" on it in large letters.

 

And another point; is organic always better? There are some really fantastic synthetic diamonds out there. Very sparkly. But natural ones are clearly better in every way. Why don't we go set up a company in an impoverished African nation so that we can take advantage of their resources and also destroy their land while we're at it?

 

Sounds like a plan.



 

6. Political Mailings

 

In 2008, from about September to November, we received a lot of mail. An incredible amount of mail.

 

So much mail that once we removed the political mailings, all that were left were random advertisements and bank statements. In other words, nothing.

 

The most egregious offenders were Al Franken and Norm Coleman. They felt very strongly that we would base our votes on the volume of political propaganda that they sent to our house.

 

My first question, is to wonder who actually reads them? I'm sure a lot of time is spent in writing all of the libel. They were certainly creative.  But the effort is not matched on the other end by the reader.

 

And so that makes me wonder, what if the point of the mailings is to convince us not to vote at all? Maybe the new strategy was to make voters hate both candidates so much that they didn't even vote.

 

That is sad.



 

5. Hollister

 

As we were driving by, my sister said:

 

"That looks like a cool store."

 

It did look cool; it looked like a creative, locally-owned store. It had a quirky veranda with some festive tropical plants outside. We were very impressed.

 

As it turns out, this is actually a clever marketing strategy. That unique, odd-looking store looks the same in Minnesota as it does in Montana, or Florida, or Vermont. A chain store disguised as something unique and interesting? I'm sure a marketing team somewhere got paid in gold bricks for that one.



 

4. Packaging Material

 

Why is there so much packaging for anything and everything? Does something really have to be wrapped twice in plastic, put in a box, and then put in another bag to convince me that its contents are secure?

 

If something is heavily packaged, it doesn't say anything about the security or quality of the item. All that it says is that whatever was originally put into the packaging is still there when it comes time for me to rip through all the layers to get to whatever it is.

 

I sure hope there wasn't any mercury at the factory.



 

3. Starbucks Drink Sizes

 

Recently, I visited a Starbucks. Usually I avoid the place, since it is purportedly pure evil and also sells ridiculously overpriced combinations of coffee and steamed milk, but it was really cold. And I didn't feel like going somewhere else.

 

I went into the shop and ordered something. A medium.

 

"Grandé?" the cashier queried.

 

".... Medium?" I replied. Grandé sounded like a large.

 

"So grandé then."

 

"Um, sure."

 

I was perplexed enough to listen in on the next person's order.

 

"And I'd like that as a tall."

 

Tall? Is that larger or smaller than grandé? Since grandé is a Spanish word for "large", I didn't really know which was bigger, or if there was even a difference.

 

When I got my drink, it looked like a medium to me. When the next person got hers, it looked like a small. Go figure.



 

2. Food Dyes

 

The more I think about food dyes, the crazier they seem. Apparently, we are simply not content to eat anything that is white, grey, or beige. If you think about it, almost every soft drink would be either clear or white without the addition of food dyes.  Think about "flavored water". It's clear. But, it also can taste like orange, or strawberry, or lemon, or whatever fruit flavor it is purported to taste like.

 

Since flavored water is often clear, we must therefore figure that the flavorings are also clear. Why then is Kool-Aid or carbonated drinks or whatever else so colorful, then? Well, color is a great tool to help perceive taste. If we saw that all that our favorite beverages were just water and sugar, would we still drink them, even if they tasted the same?

 

The next time you have one of those bags of mixed jelly beans on hand, for whatever reason, try this. Close your eyes, reach into the bag, and grab jelly beans at random to guess what flavor they are.

 

What is that? You recognize the flavor, but what is it? Cherry... or blueberry? Raspberry? Grape?



 

1. Head On

 

"Head On" is a product that purportedly relieves headaches. Unfortunately for the product, since it actually doesn't relieve headaches, it isn't allowed for obvious legal reasons to claim to do so in its television commercials. Therefore, its commercials go like this.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is3icfcbmbs

 

Did that commercial seem at all unusual? I don't say this lightly, but I would hazard a guess that it is the worst commercial ever produced. I found it to be very strange and pathetic for a number of reasons. First, and most obviously, it has made directions for application into the central theme of the commercial, by repeating it three times in a row. Seriously, that is annoying. Secondly, it appears to be incredibly low budget. It aired in 2006, and honestly I don't see how it could be that bad unless it was on purpose. Finally, the commercial actually can cause headaches. Is that its strategy? To cause headaches so that the product is actually needed?

 

The commercial itself isn't really that ironic, but its results are.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PybKYHP5r60

 

And that's how the worst commercial ever produced became successful. Is stupidity now the new clever marketing ploy? Am I missing something?


 

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Well, there you go. I've complained about almost everything that crossed my mind. I made some interesting arguments, and some that looking back, don't really make much sense. I assure you that at the time I wrote them, they did.


Do I seem ungrateful for all of the positives that result from consumer culture? Probably. My point is not that everything is terrible. It's that everything comes with good and bad, no matter how pretty the packaging.

Oh, Oh and you're Mary Tyler Moore...

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Amanda's Favorite LOST Quotes

 

I realized that I had a problem on Saturday night.

 

I was able to distinguish what my neighbor was watching on his or her television from two sounds. The first was a flashing woosh and the second was a distinctive southern drawl.  The unnecessarily loud television, which had previously bothered my silence, became quite excusable and acceptable.

 

He or she was watching LOST (The woosh indicated to me that the island was traveling through time AND that my neighbor was watching the same season I had been absorbed in just a few hours before).

 

1.     Ben: [Bug-eyed and angry bursts out of a locker, beats the marine, Keamy, with a nightstick and stabs him in the throat with his own knife multiple times] You killed my daughter! You killed my DAUGHTER!  [This is very funny to me because I hate Keamy and I am twisted. Ben could care less that, by killing Keamy, he caused an explosion that will make it impossible for everyone to get off the island].

2.     Ben: Those things had to happen to me. That was my destiny. But you'll understand soon enough that there are consequences to being chosen. Because destiny, John, is a fickle bitch.

3.     Ben: Sometimes good command decisions are compromised by bad emotional responses (This comment was made after John Locke asked Ben why he murdered Keamy, knowing he would set off an explosion on the freighter).

4.     Desmond: See you in another life, Brother...

5.     Arzt: Did you hear about the guy who invented nitroglycerin? He blew his freakin' face off! Nitroglycerin is the most unstable substance known to man. It is extremely temperamental so you have to be...
[Arzt explodes, which makes viewers jump]
Hurley: Dude...
[Arzt is scattered in fragments, in the jungle and on Jack]

6.     John Locke: Don't mistake coincidence for fate.

7.     Jack: [Nervous] How can you read?
Ben: [Keeps reading] My mother taught me.

8.     Daniel: We really do not have time for me to try to explain. You have no idea how difficult that would be for me to try to explain this-this phenomenon to a quantum physicist. That would be difficult. So for me to try to explain whatevers happened-

[Sawyer slaps Daniel]

Charlotte: Oy! What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?

Sawyer: Shut it, ginger, or you're getting one too. Now talk.

 

  1. Hurley: Let's look death in the face and say, "Whatever man..."

  2. Sawyer: [referring to Ben] Well here's an idea...why don't we take a gun, point it to his big toe and send that little piggy to market. And if he still doesn't want to tell us...we'll move on to the roast beef. Now why don't we do that?"

Charlie's Top 10

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When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when im feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things, And then I.....write them down on a blog (in no specific order)


Movies, any kind, all kinds, big movie buff, Own around close to 400 DVDs, some not so great but if you must know my favorite movie is Southland Tales with JT, the Rock, Sean William Scott, and many others,

Camping

Fire

Television shows: Burn Notice, White Collar, Chelsea Lately, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Soup, and Community.

Art, any kind, looking at it, making it, its all good. Primarily i paint tho

Traveling, Have Been all over the Midwest and the West Almost every year. Winter break took a road trip threw MN SD WY MT ID WA OR CA NV UT CO NE IA and then back to MN

Tado wote lila wastewadake do !

Video Games, XboX 360, FPS

I enjoy musicals. Some of my favorites include A Midsummer Nights Dream, Spring Awakening, Wicked and now i am waiting till Avenue Q comes to the Twin Cities

I prefer to PLay rather than Watch sports. Football, Wrestling, Frolfing, and pretty soon the UofM kickball games will start. (use to be an All-star back in 3rd grade, we'll see if i still got it)

PS: the image in the thought bubble i modified and is originally from the Oregon Trail

Charlie Her Many Horses

Shaun's Top Ten

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1.   Margaret Duarte: She has been my girlfriend for 3 ½ years and I love her to death!

2.   Minnesota Vikings: My favorite football team by far, Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin are two of the best young players in the NFL! Unfortunately, my favorite player keeps getting hurt (E.J. Henderson, linebacker).

3.   Minnesota Golden Gophers: Undoubtedly, the best Mascot and University in the world!

4.   Sports: I love to play sports and I am all about variety. Right now, I am in a 5-on-5 basketball league and I am looking forward to another season of softball. I really want to play Flag Football someday (To be honest, I would rather be in the NFL).

5.   Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: This is my favorite video game because it is unbelievably realistic and truly addicting.

6.   Dark Knight: My favorite movie with my favorite actor (Christian Bale) and one of the greatest performances I have ever seen by an actor (Heath Ledger).

7.   Assassin's Creed 2: This is my second favorite video game because the graphics and storyline are breathtaking.

8.   Avatar: My second favorite movie because the visual effects are ground breaking and I love the story. I see some striking similarities in this movie to things we talk about in Native studies classes.

9.   300: My third favorite movie because the fight scenes are awesome and the way they filmed movie is truly amazing (Everything was filmed in front of a blue screen and then the backgrounds were created digitally).

10. Rap music: I like rap music because it is fun for me to get out of my own skin for a little while and pretend to be a rapper.

 

BONUS: V for Vendetta: Again, the fight scenes were crazy and I like the idea of a normal citizen with a conspiracy theory changing the world because it is inspiring.


Nicole's Top Ten

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Not sure how to make that photo non-gigantor! I figured I'd do this early so I wouldn't forget.

Nicole's Random Top Ten Favorite Things (In no real order):

  • 1. Camping- Camping is a fun way to experience places cheaply. It's a bit of work, but worth it. I adore Minnesota and think it's the best state I've been to--and I have been to a lot of states. The North Shore is by far the most gorgeous place I have seen. 
  • 2. Researching- I can read a Consumer Reports magazine for hours. I will read about washers and dryers, cars, generic foods, all sorts of things I am not planning on buying. I do research stuff I am planning on buying like crazy, even face wash or something of the like. 
  • 3. Music- I love singing, listening to music, and going to shows. I am terrible at every instrument but like to think I'm a decent singer. 
  • 4. Writing- I like to write short stories, poems, and random interesting tidbits I see/hear daily. 
  • 5. Reading- I love to read, especially when camping or before bed. My favorite book is Catcher in the Rye. I am aware how ridiculously cliche that is, yet the book gets better every single time I re-read it. 
  • 6. Watching horribly embarrassing television- So what, I watch The Real World and enjoy it. It's a way to decompress, I suppose. I get to turn my brain off and be entertained. I'm not looking to learn anything when I watch such television.
  • 7. Hanging out with my mom- I happen to have the coolest, most hilarious mom. Simply sitting around is fun with her.
  • 8. Cooking- Cooking and baking are two more ways I de-stress. There is something about mixing up some cookie dough or making soup from scratch. The best part is sharing with my friends and receiving compliments. 
  • 9. Learning about cultures- I have always been fascinated with Greece and ancient cultures. It's really eye-opening to realize that us modern folk aren't so much more intelligent than those who came before us as we would like to believe. My father always talked about how Native Americans are incredible people and truly take care of the land. Look at America's general populace now. This is one of the reasons I took this course, to learn more about Native Americans and challenge myself to get out of my white girl bubble and think in other ways.
  • 10. Biking- I love my bike. I love the freedom of no stop lights (crap, I'm supposed to obey those, aren't I?). I love not paying for gas. I love going on journeys to places I can't reach by car. 

That about sums it up. I have a tendency to ramble, so I apologize. 

Carter's Self-Portrait and Top Ten List

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DIVIDED I STAND

Carter's Top Ten Books/Movies/Recording Artists (this week)

1.    Hunger, written by Knut Hamsun.  A writer breaks down and we go through it with him.

2.    Aguirre, the Wrath of God, directed by Werner Herzog.  Madness, the Amazon River, a conquistador's search for an imagined city of gold, and a series of striking images (a man's severed head counting, a ship caught in the forest canopy, a raft overrun with monkeys) make this my all-time favorite film

3.    Ceremony, written by Leslie Silko, taught me that it's good to be alienated.

4.    The Drones create bleak, noisy, religious death rock (kind of paraphrasing from their myspace page with vivid lyrics and loud guitars.  "Jezebel" is their masterpiece.

5.    Stalker, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, explores the desire to escape spiritual oppression.

6.    Green Grass, Running Water (or The Truth About Stories) by Thomas King.  The Truth About Stories explores the same ideas and themes in a series of essays that Green Grass, Running Water does in a masterful and hilarious novel about a wishy-washy Indian and his encounter with four spirits.  King is a master of broad humor as cultural critique.

7.    Nature and Madness, written by Paul Shepard, examines the cultural consequences of modern humanity's alienation from our lived environments.

8.    '70s "krautrock" by bands like Neu!, Faust, and Can.  Crazy stuff that now influences the likes of Radiohead.  Good music to write with--kind of long and rhythmic and repetitious, helps me find the writing groove and keep moving in it.

9.    Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon is where I turn when I need a fix of beautifully composed, hilarious prose.

10. Duck Soup, starring the Marx Brothers.  Anarchy = slapstick = liberation.


Getting into the blog

First things first.  To get into the blog go to UThink (you can find it here: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/) and click on the "Login to UThink" link in upper left corner of the "About UThink" box.

This opens the U's login system where you type in your x500 username and password.  After you've done that you will get to the fabulous dashboard to add your entries to the blog.  It looks like this:

blog dash.png
Once you see this click on "System Overview" button.  It opens a drop down menu at which point you should click on "Crow Headed Thinking" link.  This'll put you where the action is and the action looks like this:

Picture 1.png
At this point, just click on the heading "Write Entry" up in the red bar near the top of the page.  Now you are ready to, you guessed it, write your entry.  After clicking on it, you will get a screen that looks like this:

Picture 2.png
Now all you need to do is type your Title in the title box (for the first assignment you might have a title like Carter's self-portrait and top ten list).  In the "Body" box you can upload your picture to the blog by clicking on that icon in the toolbar that looks like a house with a green yard and the sun rising over it.  

(This icon:    Picture 3.png   )

At this point, the blog software opens up a window called "Insert Image".  Click on the "Upload New Image" button and select the image from your computer that you want to upload.  There are a few steps here, but just follow the prompts on the screen.  Once your self-portrait image is uploaded, you can enter the text of your Top Ten list.

Once your picture is uploaded and your text is entered scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on SAVE. Then click on the little icon that is two arrows pointing at one another in circular way.  It looks like this:
pubpic.png

Clicking on that icon should post your entry to the blog.



Breaking Silence

It's been a long while since I've entered anything on the blog, so I think I'll just mention that I'm gearing up for Spring semester and then this blog will start zinging along again as students will be posting video projects to it.

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