Blog moved!

Howdy folks! I’ve merged my ds106 blog with my main blog, erstrong.wordpress.com, and all new ds106 posts will be going there. Because OMG maintaining two blogs can get to be so confusing, and a lot of my recent posts overlap between the two. There is a specific ds106 feed if you aren’t interested in reading my random thoughts about ed tech, LMSs, design, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

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Introducing the New Reality Show “Going to the Myth”! (okay this one is somewhat serious)

When I began the Really Reality TV assignment, it was just one I picked at semi-random that I thought would get my creative juices flowing for today. So I clicked on the Reality TV Show name generator, and the first couple options were boring or just didn’t capture my imagination. But then I got Going to the Myth, and I thought, “hey, I like mythology, this could be fun!” Boy was I in for a surprise.

When you do a Google search for “going to the myth”, the fifth option is a Cracked article on alcohol myths, and the tenth is on myths about introverts. At first this struck me as a truly random combination of results and I had no idea what to do with it (and frankly, the juxtaposition of the two passages is a little odd). And then it occurred to me that although I’ve known a few people with substance abuse problems or all-out alcoholism who meet the stereotypes of the emotionally troubled or self-destructive alcoholic or a “party hard” fan who partied a little too hard, the majority have been people who use alcohol to overcome social anxiety. Heck, I’ve drunk a little too much before in situations in which I was nervous or felt like it would help me click with a group.

One thing that I have learned in life after college (and trust me, it took me a while to learn this) is that the people I have to get drunk to feel comfortable socializing with are not the people I want to be friends with. And I don’t enjoy “house parties” or bars – I can’t hear the conversations most of the time, and when I can, they usually aren’t interesting. I’d much rather hand out at a coffee shop, or invite a friend over for tea, and for meeting new people and making new friends there are lots of other ways to do it. You have to put in some effort, but in the end you end up finding friends who are a much better fit than those you find when drunk.

So that’s my PSA to all the people who drink to overcome social anxiety or awkwardness. A very different prologue than I had expected to write for a reality show called Going to the Myth. And now on to the show…

GoingtotheMyth

Show Description:
Considering that booze is one of the pillars of human civilization, it’s kind of shocking how little we know about it. For instance, we pointed out a while back that some popular misconceptions about alcohol persist despite being goddamned fatal.*

It can be terribly destructive for an Introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an Extrovert-Dominant World. Like other minorities, Introverts can end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If you think you are an Introvert, I recommend you research the topic and seek out other Introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely on Introverts to try and become “normal.” Extroverts need to recognize and respect us, and we also need to respect ourselves.**

Elevator Pitch:
How many people do you know who drink because it “loosens them up” and helps them “come out of their shell” or even turn into that mythical “life of the party”? In Going to the Myth, we follow one man’s struggle to overcome his shyness at parties and in the process enter into a battle with alcoholism that will change his life forever.

Tag Line: Do you really need to party hard? Can’t you just join a book club?


Text Sources:
*The 5 Most Ridiculous Drinking Myths You Probably Believe

**Myths About Introverts

Image Sources: Just shy (not antisocial) by George Kelly (“allaboutgeorge”), Alcohol Poisoning PSA Video Shoot by Stop Alcohol Deaths, Inc., Drinking Skills by FunGI_

Posted in Design, DS106, Thoughts and Ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Revenge of the 3 Day Old Cup

For the Daily Create of writing an ode to an underappreciated object, hansolo wrote an ode to a “3 day old cup” in which s/he fantasized about smashing a dirty old cup rather than washing it. I imagine the cup would not be okay with this treatment. Here is the cup’s response:

Dude, you’re going to smash me on the floor just because you’re too lazy to put me in the dishwasher? That’s messed up. How about the pieces of me that you leave shattered and alone hang out on that floor until you forget we’re there at 3 AM on your way to the bathroom? How many stitches do you think you’ll need, just because you couldn’t wash a cup?

Adapted from "Broken Cat Mug" by Aric McKeown: http://flic.kr/p/5z9d2G

Adapted from “Broken Cat Mug” by Aric McKeown: http://flic.kr/p/5z9d2G

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Raiders of the French Kitchen

I have to say, I think designing a poster for an action movie starring Julia Child is my favorite daily create to date. Julia Child was a hardcore badass who knew how to debone a duck. And she was a spy. So she would make an awesome star of an action movie. She already starred in her own TV show, how hard could a transition to film be?

So here it is, the Julia Child action vehicle… Raiders of the French Kitchen.

RaidersOftheFrenchKitchen

This is my favorite image I’ve created for DS106 thus far, and I think it reflects how much my image editing skills have improved (compare to Smoking Warhol or the first image in Lord of the Obama, though the second one is much better and took A LOT of effort).

I had to use various filters to add noise and make Julia Child look more cartoonish (though she still doesn’t look like a cartoon, sigh), and there were a number of tweaks to the curves to get the colors to match. Then there was the challenge of getting Indian Jones on his rope and Marion running away to appear in front of Julia. Layers, brushed on masks, and more layers. And some brushing at the pixel-level.  Yes, it looks photoshopped, but it is well balanced, and looks much cleaner than anything I could have produced six months ago. There aren’t weird fuzzy borders or bits and pieces of the layered images missing, things are well blended, and image sizes are well matched.

I suppose this is a testimony to how much DS106 can help with your design skills. The frequent practice, bordering on immersion, makes a tremendous difference, allowing you to better tell stories. Because I wasn’t getting flustered by techniques, I was able to focus on concept, integrating Julia Child Holding A Knife Like A Badass into an Indian Jones movie. Because she really was a badass.

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A Study in Gender

Slinky, poofy, tight, fun to spin around in – they vary quite a bit
Kids (mostly girls) go through phases of loving the symbol of their gender
I was a determined tomboy so I refused to wear them
Right up until I was twenty-four I was a pants-wearing girl
Then I joined a business casual workplace

This daily create was a lot of fun to write, and provided some interesting self-reflection. I think it was around age seven or eight that I suddenly began to refuse to wear dresses and skirts. Girls wore those, and they were hard to run in, awkward for climbing trees, and adults got mad at you if you sat cross-legged while wearing them. Skirts were lame.

I still occasionally wore them for formal occasions, but then I joined Model UN. I bought my first pants suit and never wanted to wear a damned skirt again. Until I joined a business casual workplace where slacks are a tad too formal, and khakis are easily wrinkled, so skirts it is.

And then I discovered that tights and a pair of shorts under a skirt is SO MUCH WARMER THAN PANTS. And I live in Boston. So I’m sold.

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Conducting a GIF

American Beauty, the greatest film of all time, is full of noise. Music. The sounds of life. The wind. Cars. Sex. Conversations. The shower. Ethereal songs from the soundtrack. And Lester Burnham is conducting this noise. Or at least, he aggressively takes over conducting it, after sleeping though his life for years. So here is a GIF to celebrate Lester Burnham taking charge of the soundtrack of his life:

 LesterConducting-11

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Hercules Attends GIFfest

I’ve been taking a break from my ds106 Hercules extravaganza most of this week (but you can see his Twitter feed! @herculeshimself), but I couldn’t resist the awesomeness of ds106 GIFfest. Not to mention I’ve been wanted to do something with this clip from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, but couldn’t figure out how to integrate it into my media landscape (but I’m sure I’ll find a way).

The story goes that Kevin Sorbo misunderstood the note “disappointed” in his script, thinking it was a line rather than directions on how to deliver the previous line. And he put everything he had into the delivery. Can’t you feel his frustration deep in your soul?

The internet fails to tell me whether this mistake is from the blooper reel, or made it into the actual episode (Season 4, Episode 14 if you want to dig it up), but the clip itself is everywhere. So I made it into an animated gif:

Disappointed

(Note: I’ve noticed that sometimes WordPress doesn’t display the animation within a post, so if you’re having trouble viewing it, click on the GIF to open it in a separate window and it should then play.)

GIF was created using the magical combination of PwnYouTube, MPEG Streamclip, and Photoshop. And you can now find it as GIFfest Assignment #872!

Posted in Animated GIF, Assignments, Best Work, DS106 | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments