hot not

Ds106 really is for life

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Sarah who had to do a video essay for her digital storytelling class, ds106.

She decided to do it on her favorite movie ever: Stardust.

She spent hours and hour and hours and hours and hours and hours TIMES infinity on the project because otherwise her professors Jim Groom and his alter ego Tim Doom would disown her #4life.

However, on occasion she got bored and paused to take funny photos with her friends who were also slaving away on this project.



Finally, she finished it and uploaded it (after several attempts) to the magnificent site called Youtube.

She eagerly awaited comments on her videoessay which covered many things in fifteen minutes worth of  moive clips, including the important issue who’s hot and who’s not in the movie.

But lo and behold, Sarah soon got a comment she never expected:

What was this?!? Outraged, she checked her youtube account.


But this was a class assignment! She thought.  It’s a commentary to try to get people to WATCH the film!! It’s not copyright infringement!

After consulting with several people and going to Youtube’s’s copyright school and researching what the library of congress says about fair use copyright, Sarah decided to protest the video removal.

She was temporarily stopped by this warning:

but decided to continue on anyway because her case was strong; there is no way she would be turned down.

But the people behind youtube (ahem ahem google ahem ahem) were evil and all powerful. At whim, they decided who were copyright infringers and who weren’t without  even taking any evidence into account. They denied her claim within seconds of receiving it and delivered a notice to her  dorm room the very next hour.

Why Hello there.

Sarah got a legal counsel and amassed a huge crowd of her support for the case.


But the power of youtube was a mighty force, and caused Sarah’s case to lose. Certain that the judges had been tampered with, Sarah’s lawyers called for a mistrial. Eventually her case made it all the way up to the highest court in all the land: The Wizengamot.

Everyone was confident of Sarah’s right to post the videoessay on youtube, but the Supreme Court was deep in the pocket of youtube and they denounced her in front of the entire world:

For her crime, Sarah was banished #4LIFE to a jail in Siberia, never again to use a computer or bathe in running water. Instead, she would be in servitude to google and she would only be allowed to eat stale bread and moldy bananas.

Fearing repercussions  for creating this assignment in the first place, Jim Groom and Tim Doom hightailed it to the Australian outback where they continue broadcast #ds106 radio and #ds106 TV from their underground homes of Coober Pedy.

Meanwhile, Sarah remains incarcerated in Siberia. She is biding her time  until it is the perfect moment for her to escape and  take down the evil youtube/google corporation and all the other people who insist on prosecuting innocents for “copyright infringement.”

Babycakes, Babycakes, Babycakes

I made this bumper for DS106 radio around the time of our audio projects, but had forgotten about it until my friend who did the voice for it, Gigi, reminded me.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The background music is from  I wrote the link down somewhere, but can’t find it. :/

Stardust: Who’s hot and who’s not


Here is my video essay in all its glory. I ended up using the MAC lab for most of it which worked out great except when it came time to record my commentary. People would keep coming in and out and print stuff, so I ended up using my roomie’s mac (thank gods she didn’t need it this weekend).

The commentary took longer to record than I thought it would just because I would stumble over my words or would pause too long as I figured out what to say. So I ended up writing a one page (single space) script and then after I finished that, I made up the rest of my commentary.

Uploading to youtube took FOREVER as my video is rather long and  youtube kept freezing up.

Hope this convinces you to see the movie if you haven’t already. : )

The Attraction Chart (TM)

So Friday’s daily shoot was “Illustrate Attraction in a photograph today.”

Really wasn’t sure what I wanted to take a photo of for this and eventually almost the whole day had passed and I still hadn’t taken anything. But finally inspiration hit when I checked my mail. My Australian friend Rose sent me the perfect postcard for this assignment which she got in the National Museum of Australia.

It reads:

Passion, like love, attracts and is attractive. Full of longing and desire, a passion for someone or something–intense love or an outburst of anger– can become so strong it’s barely controllable. If you feed this raw appetite, passion can tip into obsession. Once aroused, in all its fervent keenness, passsion can be something to relish. Eternity.


Awesome. :) All I had to take a photo of this postcard and I was done. But then I talked with my suitemate Karen who thought just taking a photo of the postcard was a lame and  cheesy cop out. Damnit! :(

Time to step it up a notch.

I decided to put it on a white board and decorate it with other things related to attraction. A heart with wings popped in my head. Then DS106. It’s kind of an obsession, right? (Maybe I feel this way because I am doing a daily shoot everyday and thus I have to think about #ds106 ALL THE TIME…. i_own_your_life is right.)

And then I realized that this was all a cheesy cop out because it wasn’t a super awesome, visually interesting photo like this one.

Hence The Attraction Chart (TM) was developed. A Cheesy Cop out, but one that was better than my original idea which is always a plus. :)



Stardust: 4 Icon Challenge & other #ds106 photos

I ran into some problems in creating my video essay for the movie Stardust since I couldn’t get all the clips I wanted frrom the movie.  :(

As I continue to work on my video essay tonight, I decided to leave you with a 4 icon challenge I created for the movie. This will prepare you for what I will talk about in my video essay which will also briefly cover  the novel written by Neil Gaiman,  which is the basis for the movie. Neil Gaiman is an amazing writer who I am currently studying right now in my Fantasy class at UMW (we read the book Neverwhere and watched part of the series; currently reading Stardust now) and who I studied last semester in my Graphic Novel class (we read one of the books in the epic Sandman series).

Looking forward to finishing up my videoessay!




Also, here’s some photos taken while I and others were  working on the project:



“The Rainbow Knight:” The best mash-up video ever

I was introduced to this video yesterday by a friend who found it through Tumblr. The video uses clips from the new My Little Pony TV show and puts them to the soundtrack from “The Dark Knight” trailer. What the artist creates in this video is probably the best and most hilarious mashup I’ve ever seen. Seriously, who would ever think My Little Ponies could be ever be associated with something as “dark” as a Batman movie?
I think this video relates really well to the article we had to read by Brian Lamb called Dr. Mashup or, Why Educators Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Remix. Lamb defines remixes and mashups in his article and says “a mashup…involves the combination of two or more works that may be very different from one another.”

He further goes on to say

“It is common to assume that remakes or reworkings are inherently lesser forms of creation than something that is “original” and that free reuse somehow degrades the value of the source. Modern copyright law and the intense social stigma associated with a term such as plagiarism speak to such assumptions.”

I think the problem with this assumption is it’s not taking into account the creativity of the artist who created the mashup. It really does takes a lot of talent for an artist to create a successful mashup. For example, as I mentioned earlier, it doubtful many people would think to put My Little Pony with a Batman Trailer. The artist had an original idea and carried out their original idea using sources that were already available. The reason why this mashup is so successful is that it combines two very different things in a funny and well put together way.

Through this mashup, the artist is creating “new art” that people can appreciate as being separate in many ways from the original source of the material. I think that instead of the original owners of the source material getting all uptight about copyright issues, they should feel flattered that someone felt so strongly about their work that they are making an homage to it.

I think it would really awesome if someone took my work and expanded on it because they thought it was cool. This is why most of my Flickr photos have a Creative Commons License so if someone wants to use it, they can go right ahead as long as they link back to me so I can see what they did with it.
Now let’s switch gears a little and talk about the article by Melanie McBride, Praxis 2.0: Escaping the edu-travelogue.
She says in her post,

“As a consequence of my school board’s policies on creating works from copyrighted material, I had students use the internet archive as the source for their remixes. The reaction was: “this sucks. The music/video/etc I want to use is not here.” While I’m not allowed to encourage students to break the law I am permitted to tell them what they can and cannot do at school versus what they may or may not do with their own tools, in their own homes, with their own internet providers – and share with them the potential consequences of doing so. If, after viewing the consequences they choose to break the law it is not because I have encouraged them to do so but they have chosen to enact their own political and civic identities outside of school. But, again, what we do in the classroom is mediated by the law. It is a far cry from what is happening outside of school. And they know it.”

I think that this argument is very valid because often times the material that we would want to use is not always something that we can actually “legally” use. But if you look at a lot of mashups and remixes that exist, a lot of the good ones are created using copyrighted material. Of course, the question of legality comes up, so it is definitely important for teachers to discuss what constitutes as breaking the law versus not breaking the law. We’ve already talked about the benefits of creative commons usage several times in class and I think it’s is something that is important to discuss.

Definitely now and in the upcoming years, copyright issues are going to continue to pose a challenge for those people interesting in creating remixes and mashups.
Relating back this article to #ds106 itself, I think that the work we are creating is definitely our own and this is what McBride would call “traveling.” We’re not just learning about other people making creative content like twitter stories and radio shows, but we are actually creating it ourselves.
Before reading these posts, I probably would have been hard pressed to explain the distinction between remixes and mashups. However, if you consider the old school radio play that Aliyah and I put together, that could be considered a remix. Several other things I’ve put together in class could also be considered remix. But just because not everything is from my own creation, doesn’t mean that I don’t have original or interesting ideas.

weaving piece

Looky here, it’s a featured artist of the annual student art show!

My friend Gina Mae Dargan, an anthropology and studio art double major, spent the past month slaving on a textile piece to enter in the Annual Student Art Show. After many sleepless nights using a floor loom (which alone, took about an entire day to set up with the help of two other people) Gina has created transparent multilayered, eight foot long piece composed of plastic, fiber, and wire.

She is one of the lucky few who was accepted into the annual student art show.  Each student in the show could possibly win the departmental and/or medium award. Cross your fingers that she will be a lucky recipient.

These photos don’t begin to do her work justice, so if you can, stop by  the Dupont Gallery this Thursday, March 31st from 4-6 to see it in person. She is also selling it, if anyone is interested in helping a talented artist out.

909 saloon

Week 1 postcard project

Okay so I actually started this project 5 weeks ago, but due to certain circumstances it took me a while to get good copies of my Australia photos to make into postcards.

So here is week 1 of my Australia and US postcards. This starts with my first full week in Australia and I plan on continuing this project until beginning July when I left Australia. I am doing this as a way to compare my life in OZ to my life here.

I wanted to exactly match my postcards for this project and the week in which I took them, but the devil has my soul this semester and I have a billion things to do for my other classes. D: (this emoticon doesn’t begin to convey my stress!)

I’ve decided to make the postcards more of a secondary final project (less pressure on me to get it done) and focus my most attention on the daily shoots/ all the other homework I have for my other classes. I like making the postcards but they take sometime to make, hence why they are on the back burner for now.
























































Creation Process:

So I started by finding the photo that I wanted to use for each postcard and then editing it in Picnik by intensifying the colors, adding words and also a border around the card. Once that was done, I created the content of the photo using Photoshop.

All of these postcards are addressed to friends who if these postcards were “real” I would send it to them. The stamps are real  stamps from each country which I took a photo of and  then photoshopped these stamps into a new document.

The handwriting is  actually my own handwriting which I created using this really awesome program called Pilot Handwriting.

Through Pilot Handwriting I write out each letter of the alphabet and upload to the website which then processes the letters so that I can I can type out a message.

Now this isn’t exactly my handwriting which is more a cursive-y print, but it’s a very close approximation of it, which is cool.

There are a few drawbacks to the program, such as I can’t download my handwriting as a font for my computer. This means that I have to always go to the website, type out my message then do a screen shot of my message and paste that into the photoshop document I’m working on. Thus, I’m stuck with the black text color for all my postcards. This also takes a lot more time to put on my postcard that it would if I used a normal handwriting font.

Also, when I first wrote out all the letters to upload to Pilot handwriting, it was hard to make sure that each letter was the correct size. Take a look at the postcard from the 909 Saloon. If you look closely the letter E is HUGE is comparison to the other letters. This is because I wrote it to0 big and didn’t really want to fix it at the time. It’s passable for what I’m doing, but it kinds of irritates me.

I have 4 other postcards 100% done which I made using pilot handwriting and I have several others half done. For my future postcards I’m thinking about handwriting the messages I want to use because that would be a lot faster. It might also encourage me to do more in the small chunks of free time I have.
Will hopefully post more of them soon!

daily shoot-81 photos

Reflection on Daily Shoots thus far

As of tonight I have uploaded  81 photos for 53 daily shoots to Flickr. This does not count the other photos I have uploaded to flickr or all the other photos I have taken but not uploaded.

I have officially accomplished 14% of my 365 photo goal. Wow! I am surprised my motivation has lasted this long. :)

Sometimes I get really cool photos in seconds and have to do little editing work, and other times I have spent an hour or so doing photo shoots with friends (such as people in this class like Megan, Colleen, Aliyah and my friends outside the class who might as well be in it.) Some days I don’t have a lot of time to take a photo which means the one I do end up uploading is ok but could have been better.

I really love doing crazy photoshoots with friends because they turn out really entertaining (e.g. Rainbow Brite Photo shoots, The Masks, Water Water Everywhere).

I’m also slightly obsessed with Picnik which is an awesome/quick way to edit photos for free online and then download to your computer

I love the comments I get on Flickr because they are generally very encouraging/ entertaining. Thanks ds106sers and all the randoms that have commented.

So now I leave you with all the awesome photos I have thus far. You have any favorites?