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Police Beat

I was listening to “Ain’t too Proud to Beg” coming to work this morning. I’m always surprised what songs actually say when you really listen to the lyrics. Essentially, a number of the things advised by songs can be highly questionable- even in innocent seeming songs from The Temptations. Given that and the predilection of stars to get in legal trouble I came up with this idea. 1 Essentially, identify an innocent seeming song that advocates some odd/criminal behavior and reformat it as a police report style article. My example based on “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” is below. 2 January, 22, 2012 – Resisting Arrest/Violation of a Restraining Order Eddie Kendricks, 46, was arrested at his former residence, 12 Jones street, at 4:37AM. Kendricks is accused of stalking and violating an order of protection filed by his former wife, Angela Berry, after their recent divorce. Kendricks is accused of sleeping on the doorstep of the residence they previously shared. Kendricks is also accused of actively preventing Ms. Berry from leaving her home. Witnesses report that Kendricks often appeared incoherent, at times sobbing and begging at the door of Ms. Berry’s residence for hours at a time. “At first, it was funny,” reported Berry’s neighbor, Ron Paxton. “We’d laugh at him, a grown man, behaving like that. But then he […]

30

Google Form as Choose Your Own Adventure Tool

Just a quick proof of concept for a session I’m doing at VSTE. I’m trying to show how you can use most things in all sorts of ways despite what they were intended to do. Apparently the example Google put out for this way back when actually used choose your own adventure to demo the concept. I promise I didn’t know that. Embedded below is a simple example of a choose your own adventure story using the branch logic options in Google forms. It’s a little hard to keep the pages straight at first but it gets easier as you go. Were I doing something large, I’d probably have to map it out first. Loading…

Rules

I was in an elementary school Friday and there was a line of stars with rules written on them. Most of them were fairly sad and/or boring- don’t smoke, don’t play with markers (?), don’t leave your buddy etc. Then there were these two and I cannot tell you how happy they made me.

Squirrels In My Pants

I did a presentation the other day on how one might use the Promethean software to do some interesting things with video. I don’t think the software is essential to do any of this but it did make it pretty easy and we already have it on all our computers and all our student computers. In any case, I used the video above to demo a few easy things for kids to do using screenshots from virtually any video. Yes, it did make my kids’ day to use a Fineas and Ferb song about squirrels in someone’s pants. I’m not sure what the teachers thought of it but sometimes you have to amuse yourself. Simplest- Visual Answers Take video screenshots to answer questions. Easy but a different level of involvement with the video. Depending on the questions this could be low level stuff or something more sophisticated. You could do simple things like ID the protagonist. Or you could ask harder questions like- Capture the most dramatic frame in the video. Summarize or Cartoonize Using simple screenshots you can add word balloons to summarize the video or just use the frame captures as fodder for comics in general. You can make it more complex by adding restrictions (see below) – things like you have to summarize the video in only […]

Introducing Randomness

I had a great time at UMW’s Faculty Academy. Got to meet a number of people face to face for the first time which is always interesting. I was lucky enough to be able to present as a plenary speaker1 as well. After being repeatedly told to “bring my A game” I had completely psyched myself out. In direct retaliation I decided to introduce as many elements of “randomness” as I could into this presentation.2 I’m not necessarily arguing that all three made the presentation better but it did make it more interesting to me and I think they did add some interesting elements for the audience. Element One The day before the presentation I had already come up with two slide decks with two very different themes. One, had tattoos as the visual element because I thought the idea of things people were willing to have jabbed into their skin with needles made for an interesting visual theme. The other presentation was based around the danse macbre woodcuts from the Black Plague. Neither one did quite what I wanted and the macabre one was too depressing even for me. So I decided to do a version of Deck Wars/Battle Decks. Essentially, I sent out an open call to Twitter requesting images. Punish me. Send me url to any image […]

Minimalist Poster

My try at a minimalist movie poster. All1 sorts of people have already done it. Although most don’t seem to be tagging with visualassignments572 it so that it aggregates under the assignment on the ds106 site. That’s going to make it harder for Jim to count every assignment by hand when he does the big data infographic design fest at the end of the course. Process I had a number of ideas. Most of them centered around putting the tux bow tie around things like the Walther PPK. I did that and didn’t like it. Things looked too cheesy. To get the tux look, I started with a still from a Bond film and then ended up using the Polygonal Lasso Tool to trace the outlines. In the end I made the lines more angular and iconic. I added in some of the defining lines (to help define the bow tie and to illustrate the shirt split). 1 Frank got 007 stuck in my head and Alan forced my hand. 2 DS106 Complaint: Make these tags shorter and non-plural. Now pretend I called into the radio show to say that.

1 Story – 4 Icons

Assignment: Reduce a movie, story, or event into its basic elements, then take those visuals and reduce them further to simple icons. That’s my attempt above. I tried to stick to a three color scheme. The first image is supposed to be a parking meter. My wife was unable to ID it. It needs work. Hopefully the other three are at least identifiable. I don’t use vector drawing tools very often. I clearly need to spend some more time with them to get some skills but that was half the reason I attempted this. My learning is now public, fairly messy, but most of all not really what I want. That is ok. It’s fun. It isn’t a contest. I’m enjoying it. I do not fear Jim Groom’s red pen. You might also notice that I’m doing assignments in and around the #ds106 course but not necessarily all the ones that are assigned, nor am I necessarily doing them in the order they are given. I’m doing extra “work” with the interest and energy moves me1. I may go back and do some. I may not. I like the MOOC idea. I find it valuable to have a group of people moving through the roughly same ideas at roughly the same time. I like the freedom I find in the […]

11

A Bag of Gold

I really liked Gardner Campbell’s “No More Digital Facelifts” talk that was recommended watching for #ds106 (embedded below). I like it enough that I decided to remix it. I don’t claim to have captured all, or perhaps any, of the spirit/content of Gardner’s talk but it was an interesting experiment and hopefully one that entertains a few people. If anything it should encourage you to listen to the actual talk. It really is good and I don’t like talks. bag of gold Limitations I limited myself to the length of the instrumental (Nas – If I Ruled the World) I limited myself to under an hour of editing. Some Notes on Process I chose the Nas song after browsing around looking for instrumentals that were titled something to do with gold and being unhappy with what I found. One easy way I use to get a feel for a good song is to set the audio of the speech playing and then browse for music. That way, when I preview various songs, I’m hearing the voice over the music like I would in the final product. I did all the editing in GarageBand. I tend to cut up the speech as I listen and pull clips that I especially like into a different track. Once I’ve got them there I […]

10

8 Bit Excel

Spreadsheet Invasion from Amy Thornley done in Excel. -via Flowingdata Excel is usually a place where people go to suffer1. It is time to reclaim it. Animate a scene using colored Excel cells as your medium. Want some 8 bit inspiration? 8 bit stop motion MW|WM 8 bit music 1 For the record, I actually like Excel.

So it begins #ds106

Jim’s doing a class on digital storytelling. The course is open and free. That means we can all play and assume multiple roles. This is going to be fun. Iconic Clash Take your two favorite movies. Make one iconic poster. For bonus points use only black and white. Closet Art Find the center of disorder in your house. Make it interesting. Make it beautiful. Make it art, if only for a moment1. Take a picture. Tweet, Tweet, Bang! Take an already existing tweet2 mash it up with an Audubon painting. Challenge yourself. It doesn’t have to be bird related. Say It Like the Peanut Butter Make an animated gif from your favorite/least favorite movie capturing the essence of a key scene. Make sure the movement is minimal but essential. 3. —All images are from ffffound.com which is pretty much the best place ever. 1 Try not to make it as pretentious as I sound describing it. 2 I will never forgive whoever made that the correct term. 3 Here are some directions on how to do it with free software. Don’t the let the command line scare you.