It Never Ends

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On the morning of graduation, as I walked from my house toward campus dressed in my cap and gown, I couldn’t help but spot this bumper sticker on Cornell Street.

In Final

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Dear Future DS106er,

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Hi,

I know you are probably wondering what the hell you’ve gotten yourself into, and rightly so. Just think of it like you are on a train, a train with no doors, just windows, well more like screens, that look upon your previous, present and future lives. You can’t really get off the train, it gets going really fast and besides, it may not actually ever stop. All you know is that you are indefinitely on a digital train, with crazy people.

In order to survive among the train people, you must create content that other train riders will comment on with their train keyboards. Your content must be seemingly cohesive towards the “end?” of the train ride, but you can do the weekly assignments so that they fit in this general theme. Make sure you stand out, so that your conductor knows your name. Just keep creating meaningful content, because now the conductor definitely knows your name, and will use it and comment on your train life, for better or worse, asking you why you haven’t done something, when the obvious answer is because you haven’t done it.

Now, I know train trips get kind of weird after the first few days. You start to think of the train as your entire world. Just remember that you should keep showering, keep talking to your significant others and mothers, and try to do work for the rest of the classes you are pretending to take this semester, because lets face it, failing out of college because you spent too much time “digital storytelling,” a one hundred level computer science class, doesn’t sound very impressive. Failing out of college because you destroyed the social fabric of the world wide web with an animated gif, now that sounds impressive. So do that. Create with your heart. Follow your dreams. Do the things that you want to do. Make DS106 work for you.

and last, but definitely not least, buy twice as much coffee as you think you might need to finish a project. Trust me, you’ll need it.

Sincerely sincere,

Andrew Allingham

Authentic Olive Garden Garlic Bread Sticks

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The basket of fresh, warm garlic bread sticks, mid-conversation over the construction of racial identity and art in the 21st Century, sat in the middle of a table-for-one around lunchtime at the Olive Garden in Columbus, Ohio.

“I think, Marcello De Laurentiis, that you have said all there is to say. I agree with you wholeheartedly. The young garlic bread sticks must look back to their rustic Italian heritage for inspiration and to the old masters for form.” said Paolo Pappalardo.

“What rustic Italian heritage?” retorted Bradino with a snort.

“Why, from your ancestors, of course.” said Paolo Pappalardo.

“Which ones?” said Bradino.

“The Italian ones!” said Paolo Pappalardo, feeling as though he were speaking to a strip of uncooked dough.

“What about the rest?” said Bradino.

“What rest?” said Marcello De Laurentiis.

“My Mexican, Irish and German ancestors,” Bradino answered honestly. “How can I go back to the ovens of Tuscany when their fingertips have never even graced my buttery crust? I have no personal connection with them at all…”

“I think you’ve missed the point entirely, Bradino.” interrupted Paolo Pappalardo.

“And I,” Giuseppe Farina, who had been brooding in anxiety-ridden immobility, joined in, “think he has hit the nail on the head. Is there really any reason at all that we must continue with this silly charade? I, for one, have no personal connection to Italy, other than in name alone.”

“I don’t mean that, I mean you should develop your own inherited spirit.” beamed Marcello De Laurentiis.

“You don’t have any fucking Tuscan spirit!” said Bradino. “We all come from the same batch. We were first mixed together by Kristin, kneaded by Juan Carlos, formed and first buttered by Friedrich, then twice and thrice buttered and salted by Allison. The only possible Italian-American that touched us was Marco Frazetti, and all he did was put us on the table. Besides, in the outside world, his name is Mark. He only tacked on the “o” to try to get a promotion to lunch hour assistant manager. I’m not Italian,” Bradino continued, “I’m an American and a perfect product of the mixing bowl.”

There was a stunned silence among the oven baked bread sticks. Paolo Pappalardo seemed to harden ever so slightly throughout the onslaught. He looked as though he might throw the first punch.

Suddenly, Giuseppe Farina was lifted with great force as if by the fingertips of the gods. His comrades tried to grab his hands, but to no avail. They watched on as his crisp, flakey feet approached the sharp abyss, munching and chomping at his toes. The blood curdling screams abruptly ended the group discussion, as they watched Giuseppe Farina’s meticulously goldened knees slowly disappear. There was nothing to talk about anymore, the inevitable existence of pain and nothingness swallowed their tongues. Giuseppe Farina’s once enviable neck separated from his head as the last guttural gasp left his bronze lips.

A delicate crumb drifted down towards the onlookers like the last leaf from a wintered tree, landing gracefully on Marcello De Laurentiis’s lap. He looked down to find a mangled index finger, the last remaining testament to Giuseppe Farina’s once promising life. Marcello De Laurentiis kissed it softly and held it in his warm garlicky hands. There was no more argument left in him, his beliefs would not hold up to the dark, unavoidable truth. As he ascended toward his slow, torturous death, he couldn’t help but hope for a quick, head first, guillotine-like decapitation. He squeezed Giuseppe Farina’s garbled index finger, for in the end, though he knew there was no point, he still did not want to lose the last buttery memento of his Tuscan brother.

Eggistential Drug PSA

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What is a remix or mashup or a scramble? I set out “to make a new meaning/story,” but the “This is your brain on drugs PSA“s story was so detailed that I think I just re-enforced its overall message.

Eggsistential Drug PSA
Don’t do drugs y’all, you’ll make rotten egg puns.
Once again, I originally set out to make a progress update, but then just decided to actually make the thing instead. I think I am now a windows movie maker master.

Interview with Jim Groom on DS106tv

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Here is a brief interview with Jim Groom about my video essay for The Saragossa Manuscript that won me a pile of internet money last week. As a first step out onto ds106tv, we sort of trip and then regain our balance and look back at the ground like there must have been a stick or something, but really it was just our internet clumsiness.

Praxis and Mashup

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In response to reading Praxis 2.0: Escaping the edu-travelogue by Melanie Mcbride

what is really possible within institutional learning at a time of unprecedented access to the figures, communities and tools that allow learners an alternative means of learning that doesn’t involve “qualified” teachers, institutional spaces or curriculum selected on their behalf. As I see it, we can choose to deny this reality or attempt to find our place with in it.

It’s interesting because I was thinking the other day how much I rely on youtube/wikipedia for learning practical world things (like say, tying a tie or a new cooking technique). I got to thinking about how I used to be at good (read: involved with) math (I was slated to go into calc2 at George Mason at the beginning of my senior year of high school) and how quickly I sank at the end of calc 1 by not understanding what or how my teacher was trying to teach. I had gotten to the point where I could no longer teach myself. I imagined what might have happened if I had turned to youtube for help instead of saying “fuck it all, I’ll start making music.” I see now that they have thousands of videos for upper level math. Maybe I wouldn’t have shunned it altogether and focused all of my attention on English literature?

The choice and selection and use of particular content is as integral to remix as the act of editing and changing the meaning of those materials…
situating the use of copyrighted material as somehow less “creative” than making our own.

Collage art is still really appealing, but I can see how it could be read as “lesser” than say, an oil painting. I know that both, in large scale, take enormous amounts of time and effort, but I don’t necessarily think that more time and effort = better. Some things are just aesthetically more appealing and meaningful.

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.

It’s always awkward to talk copyright law, especially regarding music, with older people. For some reason we (younger people, not trying to be ageist, just putting things into perspective) have a “sense of entitlement” (old people love saying this phrase, but they don’t realize that they’ve gotten rid of all terrestrial radio stations, all music television and all music magazines) when it comes to downloading content. I think this is because when I realized that the computer was used for more than just games, there was napster, and epitonic, and then grokster and then kazaa and then soulseek and mp3blogs and bittorrent. As I’ve grown, so has moving music grown.

My personal music taste and knowledge is based a lot on bands giving music away for free. I genuinely do like bands that would rather you hear their records that they made with their hands. I don’t like giant overproduced artists with major label backing that barely touch the music that they try to manipulate you into consuming. What’s interesting to me is a person making music and then sharing it with you. It’s personal. If you truly love a record, you will find a way to pay them back.

The part I challenge them on is not the political part but the “everybody does it” and the I don’t “care” part. Those are more worrying behaviours that really don’t tie to any real convictions one way or another. (via the comment section)

Don’t worry, I do it and I do care. CLLCT and Dogmazic are great examples of other people who do it and do care, which I take part in.

also, ds106 radio is technically illegal if anyone wants to whistle blow.

In response to Brian Lamb’s article:

You Are Listening to Los Angeles is something I’ve found myself opening in the background while staring off into space/ taking breaks from working. Mashup at it’s finest.

I think mashups are art, but there will always be old art incorporated into it. Everything is in conversation whether it wants to be or not. Art is art is art is fart.

I think already have an idea for a mashup video, where half of the content will be original, the other half will be that “this is your brain on drugs, egg smash” commercial. Yes, it will be food blogging related.

(also of minor note, I just found/realized the full screen toggle for wordpress. Farewell, notepad, you’ve treated me indifferently.)

Frame Stories in The Saragossa Manuscript

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The Saragossa Manuscript on IMBD
Made using windows movie maker (because I’m stubborn) in about 11 hours with a break for lunch. I wish I would do this in smaller chunks so I could actually blog about the process, but by the time I finish it I have the overwhelming sense of needing to go outside and/or finally eat dinner.

I tried to rip the dvd with vlc player, but I couldn’t find an individual subtitles file. I think it was broken up into a bunch of different files, and so was the video for that matter. I ended up using opensource camstudio (a screen video capture program), which sacrificed a bit of video quality, but this way I could actually cut only scenes I wanted with the subtitles on top.

Windows movie maker crashes a lot if you don’t get it used to publishing video (which is a weird concept), but after you get through the first 1 or two hangups/freezes, it will publish/save video with ease. Save the project file often!

Wine and Cheese Pairing Recipe

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What you’ll need:

  • 1 or more Wegmans grocery stores
    1-3 Saturday (or Tuesday or Thursday, sometimes)
    1 car or cheap public transportation alternative.
    1 valid driver’s license proclaiming you are “legal”
    1-1.5 quart empty and eager stomachs!

Preparation


Step 1: Maneuvering
When picking a great wine to taste at Wegmans, make sure you go to the wine and beer section of the store. Head over to the wine tasting table and make sure not to look like that’s the only reason you are there (even if it is).

Step 2: Communication
“Oh, wine tasting? Well, I might as well,” you say.
“Can I see your ID?” Kelly, the wine keeper, says.
“Oh, sure of course.” You wonder to yourself, do I look desperate? Do I look like a college student that hasn’t eaten all day so I can get the most out of these few drips of free wine that I can’t afford.
“Alright, which would you like to try?” she asks.
“Uhm…all of them.” you say, with a look of confusion on your face. You reassure yourself with a nervous laugh. You are in the right place. Remember, you deserve this, you are an adult. This is what adults do.
“Of course,” she says, noticing your sophisticated taste for wine and sense of calm. “We’ll start with a white from blahblah blahbitty blah…” she says as your selective hearing kicks in and you focus on the wine as it sloshes into the small plastic cup.
[editor’s note: make sure to sniff the wine once or twice then tentatively taste and nod.  Finish the rest in a one swig as there will be another tiny plastic cup with another fine wine, this time red. The third will probably be a desert wine, but you’ve got a bit of a buzz already, so it doesn’t really matter.]
Optional: Tell the keeper of the wine that you are actually looking for something a little drier and test your luck on getting another sample.
Cook time: 5 minute power hour (metric)

Step 3: A Cheesy drunk snack


Head over to the cheese area. If they are handing out free samples, be sure to take one. After, approach a different cheese monger and say something like, “Hi, I’m looking for a cheese that would go great with candied walnuts in a spinach salad.” or “Hi, I’m looking to make a grilled cheese, but want something more flavorful than Velveeta in order to impress my future in-laws at their annual grilled cheese cooking contest.” As long as they aren’t busy, the cheese mongers will humor you by letting you try a few cheeses.
[Editor’s note #2: Don’t push your luck with more than three. I’m not sure if they have one of those “do not serve” lists with Polaroids of annoying customers.]
[[Editor’s note #3: If you’d been smart, you would have gone to the cheese first for the free sample, and then the wine, because by the time you get back over to the cheese, the likelihood of them changing the free sample guard is very high.]]
[[[Editor’s note #4: Though, I can understand if you keep the recipe as-is seeing as how wine is more effective on an empty stomach.]]]
Cook time: 5-15 minutes (Standard American)

Bon Appétit

Google Recipe Search

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The google recipe secret ingredient is… Children!

This is a screen shot:

here is a page link

It’s subtle, yet supple.

Who searches for children recipes on google recipes? Well, it was actually the first thing I typed in (I guess I was curious what would come up?). Don’t psychoanalyze me. You’ll just get a lot of defensive sarcasm.

prep time: 2 1/2 hours
cook time: (google) instant
let cool 5 minutes (edges will be hot!)

(firebug fun tip: if you are typing in new code and it reverts back once you click off of it ((like it did with me maybe 15 times)), make sure you move your cursor over some other tags and it highlights in yellow. It will make firebug catch up to you, and you’ll get it right the first time.)