Monthly Archives: June 2009

MaxFunCon

The Sound of Young America podcast from PRI is one of my favorite broadcasts. Jesse Thorn and his bowtie constantly has comedic guests and innovative thinkers that are pushing our culture forward (someday that will be me…). He helped host the first annual MaxFunCon, “a gathering of creative people who wish to be more awesome”. I’ve always wanted to go to a convention, like ComicCon, and next year maybe I’ll be on the west coast and can go this awesome idea for a convention.

ANYways (I promise this post is supposed to be about more than just me lamenting my future awesomeness). One guest that frequents the Sound of Young America and was one of the speakers at MaxFunCon was Merlin Mann, 549028042_facf785271the creator or the website 43 folders. He gave a great talk about his philosophy on being creative and how to build a successful product out of your passions. His basic message is “Start”. Instead of thinking of a million reasons to wait to begin creating, stop making excuses and start doing. Follows my words of wisdom “Don’t think – Do”. The whole talk, which I would really recommend you listen to, even if it is solely because Merlin is effing hilarious, is streaming on the Maximum Fun website.

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

Sorry for the delay in posts. The internet connection at my apt has been unreliably flaky for the past few days (although I can’t complain becuase I am stealing from my neighbor).

alice-topper

New stills from Tim Burton’s remake of Alice in Wonderland have been released. What a sugary mess of hallucinogen-fueled fantasy! I had forgotten than this movie was in production, but have a renewed excitment for this to come out. Its a proven equation for a fantastical movie. Tim Burton + Johnny Depp + childhood fairtale just waiting to be twisted and confused = masterpiece of haunting color and frill-less imagination.

Twittering to Democracy

twitterI’m absolutely amazed and excited by the impact that Twitter has had on the events surrounding the Iran election over the weekend. NYMag has a great rundown on how the grassroots communication was used to spread real-time news of events as they played out. They make an important point that although Twitter was able to connect Iranians with the rest of the world to discuss what was going on, there is still the untrustworthy anonymityof the Internet, that trusted new sources like CNN and MSNBC still have fact-checkers and journalistic integrity on their side.

We have discussed the importance of open grassroots communication amongst the public in organizing protest in my Modern Rhetoric class. I wrote a paper for my Technology and Writing class about the importance of text messaging during other acts of protest against a suppressive government. And this solidifies that importance.

The best part about this trend is that Twitter acknowledges the importance of their role in Iran. And not in a “there must be a way we can capitalize on this fame!” kind of way but in a “we have to do what we can to continue to support this”. They are rescheduling a maintenance interruption so that Iranians can continue to communicate.

Volunteer

Volunteer%20GraphicI was an active volunteer in Cleveland a few years back, but since coming to Chi-town, I’ve been busy with school/work/fun to look into what kind of help I can dive into in this city. It’s not that I don’t want to volunteer anymore, I loved helping out in Cleveland. But it seemed easier to pin down the non-profits in a smaller city like that. Maybe the land of non-profits in the big city is so vast, I can’t decide where to begin my search for a good outlet for my free services. But along comes All for Good, a search engine site dedicated to volunteer opportunities. A collaboration between Google and Craigslist, the masters of search and user-generated content.

So I did a little search on Chicago, IL to see what programs comes up. Low and behold, the first result that popped up seems like something to look into. A NFP looking to redesign their website and create some promo material. Perfect for a New Media student looking to puff up a portfolio and get some hands on experience but is not good enough to charge for her services yet. It must be a sign.

Microscopic Forts

ac3When I was little, my sister and I used to create secret lairs for all of our toys…and toothpicks, barretts, popcorn kernels, anything we could stick inside plants or curling corners of carpet. So this post on Apartment Therapy was a strong whiff of nostalgia about tiny worlds tucked in the nooks and cranies of old houses. Helen Hodding is an urban artist of sorts that creates these little diorama worlds in the bricks and crumbling concrete of London. The 7-year-old in me has died and gone to heaven. I can just picture where the queen toothpaste cap would go…

Facebook overload

logo_facebookAll morning I’ve been trying to log into Facebook with no luck. I keep getting a “system unavailable” error message. I put two and two together and realized this must be a glick in their launch of the username feature. People scrambling to get the best username before someone else snags it. I initally shrugged this off. Eh I’m over the AOL screenname self-expression sexybunnie2834xxx. I prefer my real name tried and true. So I’ll wait for facebook to calm down, log on later and assess the damage of 100 million people adding numbers and witty turn of phrases to their already-overly-expressive profile.

Then it hit me. WHAT IF SOMEONE ELSE IS MY JENERATION?!?! i have been furiously attempting to log on for an hour so I can claim my digital identity before someone steals my wittiness.

And another one bites the dust…

Ruled by the Post-It

Amazing. I’ll let the artist tell the story: “This is my senior project at Savannah College of Art and Design. Where my idea comes from is that every time when I am busy, I feel that I am not fighting with my works, I am fighting with those post-it notes and deadline. I manipulating the post-it notes to do pixel-like stop motion and there are some interactions between real actor and post-its.” By Bang-Yao Liu