Archive for February, 2008

Toothpaste for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Toothpaste For Dinner
toothpastefordinner.com

Oh toothpaste for dinner. You are omnipresent. From staring at me from bright orange of “The Wonnacott Word” in the toliet stall to printed across the chest of the awkward girl who rings me up at the Co-op, your snarky sense of humor has become mass-marketable.
Toothpaste for dinner has actually proven so successful an enterprise that his wife also has her own oddball site Natalie Dee and they have a joint effort Married to the Sea

And while the comics can be politically clever, offer scathing social commentary, or seve as icons of pop culture, for the most part their just strange. And, in my opinion, most these people never would have gotten published if wasn’t for the internet. On the other hand, a lot of this comics are way wittier, and in some sense more “artistic” than the Garfield I read in the Sunday funnies. Due to the democratic nature of the internet, should webcomics not be held to the same standards as print? I don’t know–it’s hard to say. It’s a double-edge sword, I suppose. More individuals are exposed to web-comics thanks to the viral nature, but in their mass-reproducibility, they seem to lose some of their credentials.

Uncategorized Melissa Marshall 28 Feb 2008 No Comments

All-in-One

I got into webcomics when a friend of mine told me about Ctrl+Alt+Del freshman year. It was revelatory. I could read comics . . . good, entertaining comics that participated in topical debates . . . well-drawn, fun-to-look-at comics . . . on the internet. It took me about two days of obsessive reading to get through the CAD archives. They’re pretty epic. This is probably the strip that did it for me.

And that’s the beauty of the online comic. I did a quick browse through the archives – all there, all free – and dropped the link into this post. It’s brilliant, easy, fast.

Overcompensating is the comic-blog I mentioned in class. It has the odd effect of concretizing the experiences, daydreams, and mad delusions of the author and artist, Jeffrey Rowland. Continuity and plot are generally anathema to OC, but there are periodic bursts of work that make sense. I would say that it’s like Bizarro or Speedbump or I Need Help, except you know, because it’s a comic-blog, that Jeffrey’s trip to hell has some relevance to something – even if it’s just a movie about a Zombigeddon that he saw recently. The comic blog is an innovative way to share creative impulses . . . and to link to the all-important store.

Least I Could Do is another pretty good comic. Some story lines are better than others. However, LICD has, through the entrepreneurial genius of its writer and creator, Ryan Sohmer, turned into a full-fledged business. The site offers freebies – wallpaper, icons, stuff like that – a well-developed online store, an active forum, a Facebook application, and immediate updates (blogs, spaces for chat, etc.) on the front page. Blind Ferret Productions, born out of the LICD enterprise, handles the burgeoning animated series for CAD.

Dominic Deegan and Questionable Content are generally just great comics, but neither has really reached the vast heights of CAD or LICD in their instant-access, multi-user spaces. Forums and stores (QC’s t-shirts are pretty choice), yes, and J. Jacques has a couple of tangential blogs that got their start on QC ground, but I think that both Jacques and Terracciano are still experimenting with the possibilities of webcomicing.

Taste of the Internet Jessie Gurd 28 Feb 2008 No Comments

Droppin Science

Hey guys,

I’ve been tapping my foot to a dj by the name of J Rocc. He remixed some fairly popular hip-hop with the music that the hip-hop tracks sample as well as some crucial bluenote tracks. For an easy to spot self-referential jaunt, listen to the track at around 12 minutes (its a 45 minute mix-tape). You can snag it here embedded in a post that I made earlier today.

e

found music Ernest Russell 28 Feb 2008 No Comments

Mr. Little Mermaid

I was listening to the Little Mermaid piece again and decided to google it.

Here’s Fred, whose mother made him so famous…

Fred
Fred’s Site

Podcasts &Taste of the Internet Ross Bell 27 Feb 2008 No Comments

Follow up on class: The limitations of the content of comics because of technology

I just wanted to follow up on the point I was trying to make in class yesterday: I still think there are limitations on the content of comics that come as a result of technology, not institutions or culture. More specifically, I think that comics cannot express certain abstract ideas that regular prose can express. Or at the very least, it would be cumbersome for comics to do so.

I think of the political science reading I am doing now on what causes transitions to democracy. It may be possible to discuss this with a narrator in comics (sort of in the way that McCloud does in his piece) but the concepts surrounding transitions to democracy are fundamentally abstract. Comics are rooted in pictorial representation, not text. As McCould defines it, comics are “the juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.” (page 9)

So if you wanted to make a comic about the theory of transition to democracy you could maybe do it, but it would be very texty and would move away from McCloud’s definition of comics.

This all being said, I don’t want to sound like I’m hating on comics. McCould’s piece is a brilliant example of how comics can make arguments and convey ideas in a way that transcends text. But once again, McCould is analyzing comics: a visual medium.

Thoughts?

Uncategorized George Altshuler 27 Feb 2008 No Comments

Read this…it’s free!

Hi guys,

Check out this article at Wired.com about the economics of free commodities in the digital age. It’s really spectacular. Essentially, it explores what will happen once the price of processor power, memory, and bandwidth reaches zero (or so small as to approximate zero) for the single user, which seems to be happening. The article uses a great metaphor, that of electricity being “too cheap to meter,” which at one point many believed would happen. The result…an end to water shortages, electric cars, virtually no globe-warming emissions, etc. Perhaps a bit of a Utopian vision, but it’s hard to argue that the world isn’t headed for some sort of economic breakthrough of one kind or another.

General Geekery &Taste of the Internet Derek Long 26 Feb 2008 1 Comment

Rotoscoping

After reading Brian’s response to the Smith reading “Shaping The Maxx,” in which he referenced Sin City, I immediately thought of a movie I saw recently called “Renaissance.” It stars Daniel Craig (the new James Bond) and takes place in a futuristic Paris dominated a massive corporation whose main product is eternal youth and beauty. The story itself kinda sucks, but it’s look is totally awesome (like a B&W version of sin city). Here’s a link to some screen shots – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386741/mediaindex. After doing a couple google searches, I found out that this look is done with a technique called Rotoscoping. Here’s the jist of the wikipedia article: Rotoscoping is an animation technique in which animators trace over live-action film movement, frame by frame, for use in animated films. Originally, pre-recorded live-action film images were projected onto a frosted glass panel and re-drawn by an animator. This projection equipment is called a rotoscope, although this device has been replaced by computers in recent years. In the visual effects industry, the term rotoscoping refers to the technique of manually creating a matte for an element on a live-action plate so it may be composited over another background.

General Geekery Kyle Howard 25 Feb 2008 1 Comment

Final Cut Glory

So yesterday, I was editing in Final Cut for a project I’ve been working on which requires a lot of various special effects, photoshop, etc.

It never ceases to astound me just how versatile this program is. I remember when I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to use the darn program. One day, a friend of mine challenged me to a film competition. We each had 24 hours to shoot and edit a two minute special effects short paying homage to Japanese shows like Power Rangers etc. Fortunately, I could only do so much in Imovie, and I was forced to leap to Final Cut in order to make the edits and visuals I wanted. After about 24 hours straight of slaving over this project, I got it done. Afterwards, it dawned upon me just how much I was able to do with this one program. To think that not too long ago, we were all editing on vhs players stacked on one another.

When I was a kid, and I used to make my short movies, I’d always have to put the machines on top of each other and time things perfectly, otherwise I’d accidentally erase too much and have to start over. Now, with all the digital programs and hardware available, it’s only getting more user friendly. It’s astounding whenever I think about it.

-E.

Uncategorized Elliot 25 Feb 2008 1 Comment

Coworking

So I was browsing Google News one day when I stumbled upon this article about something called “coworking” (note the lack of a hyphen).

Evidently in big cities like New York, entrepreneurs have been collaborating to rent office space to use together. Sounds normal, right? Here’s the thing: none of them are actually working together. They’re all starting their own businesses and working on their own projects independently while sharing the workspace.

They do this for various reasons. For one thing, it’s cheap. Instead of buying a workspace for yourself when you’re trying to start a company, you can just rent a small part of this communal work area. Secondly, the people working in this shared space give each other motivation, support, and allow for the exchange of free ideas. Sound familiar? It’s just like the internet, but in real life! People can get together to get things done, but not necessarily the same thing. It’s like the internet but even better because instead of coldly communicating through typed words, they can actually speak to each other in person.

I thought this was a really great article, and I really wanted to share it with the class. If you have time, please read it!

Uncategorized Erin Gosselin 25 Feb 2008 2 Comments

As Part of a Stellar Performance…

“During the Oscars last night, Jon whipped out an iPhone, because he loves “new media”.

Video @ Gizmodo

General Geekery &Videos Ross Bell 25 Feb 2008 1 Comment

The Nerd Shirt

All I can say is wow:

Wifi Detecting T-Shirt

General Geekery Ross Bell 25 Feb 2008 No Comments

Snap Z and Audacity

Snap Z and Audacity are two very powerful programs that I want to continue to understand better. It appears that they are great for copying copyrighted material for yourself. I’m sure that’s what distributors argue goes on at colleges, but it is an amazing luxury to be able to make my own mp3s from streaming audio.
While this will help me enjoy video and music from online sources, I do believe that there are lots of ways these programs can help traditional forms of media. For a different film class, we were encouraged to use Snap Z to show stills from the movies or scenes we were writing about. Not only did having a picture there make it easier for the reader, it kept the author honest because we were no longer able to fudge details about a movie that may have not been there. When there is physical evidence on the subject you are discussing, it allows you to write more precisely and descriptively than not having the screen cap there.

Uncategorized Brian Sommers 25 Feb 2008 2 Comments

iPhone podcast

I came across this podcast reviewing the iPhone and its features. I thought it tied into our project because the video demonstration is really important for the viewers understanding of the phone. Had this just been an article in the newspaper, it would have been difficult to follow.

Podcasts &Videos Sarah Hatfield 25 Feb 2008 1 Comment

Locksley vs. Ole Moon-Eye

Let’s get the fact that I’m a little bit of a Locksley fangirl out of the way. Most of the guys went to my high school, seniors while I was a freshman, one of them was an Abercrombie model (or something like that), etc. etc., you get the picture. It helps that they’re pretty darn fun to listen to.

This is an animated music video made to go with one of their newer singles, “Start All Over Again.” I find that the cohesion between image and sound is more like Fantasia than an image-lyric correlation. This is also just slightly bizarre, fairly unique, and generally humorous.

Taste of the Internet &Videos Jessie Gurd 25 Feb 2008 No Comments

The Sweded Internet

I don’t know if any of you have gotten to see Be Kind Rewind yet (I haven’t), but the film’s ideas resonate with the class quite a bit. So if you see it, report your thoughts here.

And be sure to check out the film’s website, which reimagines with a D.I.Y. aesthetic. Don’t miss the Trailer page for a “Sweded YouTube,” and the ability to make your own video boxes. Like this:

jm_sweded.jpg

General Geekery &Taste of the Internet Jason Mittell 24 Feb 2008 No Comments

Political Comedy

Its astonishing the role comedy has played in this election cycle. Barack shows up on SNL for halloween, McCain announces his candidacy on Letterman; Thompson on Leno; Edwards on The Daily Show in ’04 (this time too?).

Now, I know he doesn’t believe in evolution, but Huckabee’s appearance on SNL last night is pretty funny:

Politics &Taste of the Internet &Videos Ross Bell 24 Feb 2008 2 Comments

New York Times Blog: The Medium

“With television and the Internet converging at last, who’s going to watch all this here-goes-nothing online video? Everything from political propaganda videos to pseudo-candid celebrity rants seems to expect an audience. “The Medium” will find, review and make sense of all those senseless new images: web video, viral video, user-driven video, custom interactive video, embedded video ads, web-based VOD, broadband television, diavlogs, vcasts, vlogs, video podcasts, mobisodes, webisodes, mashups and more.”

This seems like a ridiculously pertinent blog!

Taste of the Internet Ernest Russell 24 Feb 2008 No Comments

Reading responses for 2/26

Scott McCloud’s book serves as an extended “meta-media object,” using the tools of the comic to explore the medium itself. What aspects of comics, both as a medium of analysis and medium of expression, did you find particularly interesting? How might McCloud’s ideas extend to other media, or how might someone be able to express such concepts in other media? And what do the pieces by Madden and Smith add to our understanding of comics in relation to other media?

Reading Responses Jason Mittell 23 Feb 2008 14 Comments

Use of Media

I thought I’d post this video both because it’s funny, and also because it adds to the discussion from last class about using different media to express an idea or belief. The idea is a music video parody of James Blunt’s, “You’re Beautiful,” and just like all other parody videos, it displays the belief of the creator that the original had the potential to be remixed for a certain reason. So, instead of using text and writing a paper, or using audio alone and remixing the song, this person remade the video and added his own personal twist to it.  Enjoy, and feel free to post other interesting parodies…

Videos Stephen McCombe 23 Feb 2008 No Comments

Perez Hilton

When I get back to my room from class, practice, or wherever, I typically plop down on my desk and log onto my Middlebury webmail account, see if I have any urgent messages or new facebook messages. Then I procrastinate for about twenty minutes and check out my friends facebook updates. My next step is always to check Perez Hilton. I am really ashamed to admit this, but there is something about the site that makes it so easy to access celebrity gossip and scan through the site, picking and choosing which headlines might appeal to me. It’s much easier than actually purchasing People Magazine, Us Weekly, In Touch, etc. and you don’t have to waste your time skipping over the advertisements. It is a crazy site because Perez updates the information every 30 minutes or so. Each time I get back to my room, there is something new to learn about celebs. I don’t recommend getting started..it can get addictive!

social networking &Taste of the Internet &Uncategorized Sarah Hatfield 22 Feb 2008 2 Comments

A Fair(y) Use Tale

Here is Eric Faden’s video on copyright and Disney:

And the link to his project “Tracking Theory” that we watched in class.

Class business &Videos Jason Mittell 21 Feb 2008 No Comments

Metanomics

Hey all,

I just happened across SLCN (Second Life Cable Network). It delivers real-world streaming entertainment and news. The wild part is that all the content is generated on and is about Second Life. Here is an episode that explains the presence of journalists imbedded in Second Life. Currently Reuters and CNN have avatars in the “Metaverse.” It seems that large companies, economists and other real-world movers and shakers are beginning to recognize the inherent power of virtual worlds.

social networking Ernest Russell 21 Feb 2008 No Comments

Operating Systems & Metaphors

Ross posted a couple of things concerning the PC/Mac ads and the way that operating systems are perceived & marketed. If anyone is interested in these issues, I highly recommend taking a study break and reading Neal Stephenson’s essay In the Beginning was the Command Line – it’s a bit dated now (from 1999), but speaks to how we engage with operating systems and interfaces. A brief excerpt to whet your appetites follows beneath the fold.
Continue Reading »

General Geekery Jason Mittell 20 Feb 2008 1 Comment

Brilliant Use of Banners

I hate internet banner ads, but this one is so cool, the visual punchline is as strong as the dialogue.

Taste of the Internet Ross Bell 20 Feb 2008 No Comments

Film Your Issue

In its 4th year, FYI – Film Your Issue (www.filmyourissue.com ) has grown into a global internet-based competition inviting more than 25 million high school and college students in the U.S. alone to engage in pressing contemporary issues by creating and uploading two-minute short films on issues that impact their generation. In addition to taking the pulse of young adults on issues, FYI – Film Your Issue encourages young people to add their voices to the public dialogue, and underscores how even an individual voice can influence public debate.

Beginning Feb. 15, films can be uploaded on multiple participating platforms including MTV, YouTube and AFI Screen Nation, as well as promoted on MySpace TV, after registering on www.filmyourissue.com. Select entries will be highlighted on MySpace TV and distributed by The Associated Press to its 1,800 Online Video Network media outlets. The submission deadline is April 14, 2008.

“The internet has become one of the most potent platforms of social change , social activism and raising consciousness — and with the rapidly evolving technology which puts filmmaking capabilities into the hands of young people, this competition brings those elements – the internet, social activism and “User-generated-content” — together dynamically,” says HeathCliff Rothman, founder and president of FYI – FILM YOUR ISSUE. “We are excited as we begin the 4th round that this unprecedented consortium of organizations has joined with us to encourage the next generation of leaders, and provide a global platform for pressing social issues.”

Winners are selected by an illustrious VIP Jury, by the public online, and by participating cause organizations. Prizes to eleven winning films include internships at USA TODAY, The United Nations, P.O.V. and The Humane Society and a $5000 college scholarship from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Strong American Schools, and a filmmaker VIP Pass and presentation at SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival. Winning films or excerpts will also be broadcast on Starz, and a selection presented at the annual NAACP Conference. The MTV audience favorite will be featured on Think, MTV’s multi-media community focused on youth activism, and the winning filmmaker profiled on MTV News. In
addition, FYI presents two additional annual awards: The Walter Cronkite Civic Engagement Leadership Award to an academic institution, and The Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award, to an individual.

FYI 2008’s VIP Jury is headed by legendary news anchors and authors Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw, and includes MySpace Founder Tom Anderson, MTV President Christina Norman, CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer, NBC Anchor Brian Williams, United Nations DPI Under-Secretary-General Kiyotaka Akasaka, Best Buy Vice-Chairman Brad Anderson, HBO Host Bill Maher, USA TODAY Publisher Craig Moon, USA TODAY Founder Al Neuharth, Weinstein Company Co-founder Harvey Weinstein and others.

Past judges include George Clooney and Presidential candidate Barack Obama. Winners from past competitions have gone on to work in major Hollywood production companies, been invited to present their films on Capitol Hill, and one recently co-produced a film that was the 2008 Sundance Grand Jury Award winner. Through the global reach of the internet and The United Nations Department of Public Information, entries from past rounds have come not only from the U.S., but from all points across the globe, including Iran, The Philippines, Brazil, Russia, Hong Kong, Israel, the U.K., Argentina and elsewhere.

Partners for the 2008 FYI competition are USA TODAY, The Associated Press, The United Nations, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MTV, MySpace, NAACP, The Humane Society of the United States, SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival and AFI Screen Nation, Natural Resources Defense Council, PBS’ award-winning documentary series P.O.V., Starz, The Human Rights Campaign, ASCAP and The International Documentary Association. Academic partners are The Association of American Colleges and Universities, The National Association of Student Councils, The American Association of University Professors and The University Film and Video Association.

Uncategorized Micaela 20 Feb 2008 No Comments

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