Fat (No pH)

February 24, 2011

Our society has become obsessed with trimming all the fat from our lives. No fast food, no meat, no refined sugar, no empty calories. Putting oneself on a cookie limit, feeling that if they indulge a little bit it’s going to destroy their metabolism and make them pudgy. One cookie never made anyone fat. Ok, there’s that one Chinese proverb about moving a mountain a pebble at a time, and I guess by that logic one cookie would make you fat, but this isn’t a philosophy class. It’s not just in diet, either. People are looking to cut down on all the excesses. Living without cable, without a dryer, without a TV, without electricity whatsoever until they’ve trimmed away so much that they have nothing but the bare minimum to live(if you call that living). Ok, I guess if everyone lived this way, the world would be a little better because there wouldn’t be such a high standard of living in this country and we could share some of our supplies with the rest of the world, but once again, not a philosophy class.

In the same sense, people are also trying to bulk up. Body image is a huge concern in this country. It’s what leads people to think they are fat when they really aren’t, and they think that packing on muscle until they have peaks is the best way to feel good about themselves. But then, there are the people who put on too much muscle. The gym rats, the freaks, the ones who lift things up and put them down for a living. Too much muscle is a bad thing. Packing on pounds until they are too heavy this way, too. It’s having too much of a good thing, like cookies, which can make you fat in a different way.

A little fat is good, a little muscle is good. It’s all about finding a good balance. A little too much base will burn you, a little too much acid will burn you. Think about it like a song. Having a slow and calming/funky groove is good, but you don’t like it when it’s gone on too long and worn out it’s welcome, the base. Having a strong attack to really make a statement is good, but you don’t like it when it burns out too soon or stings your ear, the acid. It’s why an acceptable length for a radio song is 3 minutes: short enough to keep you interested and long enough to not bombard you with information.

It’s a harmonic balance, a nice and mild 7. It’s water. Bland. Tastless. Clear. It contains everything you need and nothing more. Neither slow and encompassing nor fast and rough. It doesn’t really have that much of an effect on you.

I hope you eat that cookie. I hope it’s the one that makes you fat. I hope you don’t immediately go to the gym and try to burn off it’s calories. Add some flavor to your water, some acid or some base. There’s a reason they call it water-ing down. Class dismissed.

Getting to Know You

February 24, 2011

So far this semester I feel like I’ve learned a lot about everyone through their audiocast work and their blog posts.

For those of you who don’t know (and for those who haven’t guessed) I really love sports. I’ve played a myriad of sports my entire life – softball, swimming, soccer, basketball and roller/ice hockey. I played Womens Club Ice Hockey during my 4 years at Rutgers as well as a lot of intramual sports.

What does this have to do with podcasting? I listen to a lot of ESPN and other sports podcasts as well as some environmental ones and have tried to bring aspects from both that I love to this class.

My love of sports as well as my love of the environment led me to choose the tailgating project in class and I really hope that Rutgers tailgates in the future will be more sustainable.

Trouble, Triumph, Tribulation

February 24, 2011

Everything that I have done this week has been loaded with trouble and tribulation.So many pressures and failures have occurred this week. Instead of digressing into the mundane and melancholy week that I had, I will give a couple of great moments that took place this week. Spirituality seemed to be a theme for me this week. I was tweaked out because i knew I had an insurmountable amount of work that needed to be completed this week and this weekend was filled with failed study attempts, but on Sunday I felt this enening peaceful lift in my spirit.

I received a call on Tuesday from my mom telling me that my friend’s mother had passed away. She had been fighting cancer for 8 years, and what a fighter she was. She was always so happy to be alive, and I truly believe that went on to .  She is now the epitome of this!!!

The take home message for the week for me was cherish what I have and who I have.

To all you “Green Students” and you other fine scholars out there (or mainly students in Podcasting class since your probably the only ones reading from this blog). I stumbled across this interesting website while searching out other schools that currently have Bike Share Programs like Rutgers is trying to implement. The web site is called GreenStudentU.com and loads of interesting green type happenings in other colleges and universities throughout the country. From interesting tidbits on Foods that Help you Sleep or Keep you Awake, from how to live a more Eco-friendly lifestyle both at college and at home, it is a pretty cool website to check out when your bored in class, if that is even possible. I just thought I would share the wealth and put the site out there for anyone who cares, didn’t know about it, or knew and cares or doesn’t care.

Honor killing. There’s a name for it. In certain tribes in Iraq and Pakistan, its common for a father to murder their daughters for things like refusing an arranged marriage, or being too westernized. This is the second one I’ve heard of in the past 2 weeks. The girls were 21, and 20. They were my age. . . .

In this particular case, the family lived in the US and was found guilty, however, in countries like Iraq and Pakistan where women are lower caste citizens I don’t believe that punishment for this crime is enforced.

I’m at a loss for words.

-JC

We in the communication community have a responsibility. We have to get messages across to our audience in a way that not only tells them everything we want them to know, but also tells them in a way that interests them. It’s hard to get people to change(unless you go about it the right way-see me last two posts), but if we tried our best and still come up short, the fact that we put up a valiant effort is all we can ask for. There’s nothing worse than finishing up with this class, looking at the final products that we put out, and saying “Oh, I should have done this. It would have made it so much better.” The only way to avoid this: Try. Try something different when doing the slideshow. Add an important caption, try a nice wipe that really hits home the contrast between two images or ideas, use a different inflection in your voice. If it doesn’t work, you’ll know it. You can always remove it, but the important thing is that you went out of your comfort zone to do something you weren’t sure of doing.

“THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over”-Hunter S Thompson. I’m sure there are other quotes about this by some ancient Biblical or Shaolin proverbs about this, but Thompson probably knows a little more than them about going over the edge.If you have an idea and don’t mention it in class, or to your group, you might as well not have thought of it. It will just go back into the oblivion that birthed it, never seeing the light of creation, never knowing if it was good enough to be included with the rest of the ideas. When in reality, it probably is.

” Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”-Frank Zappa. Listen to one of his records and you’ll see how progessive Zappa really was. He preached going out on a limb and trying new things. How else can you explain a satirist rock legend making jazz-fusion and later classical albums? Not just making albums, but critically acclaimed albums that are considered some of the best creations of the past 50 years. He pulled no punches, which is also what got him in hot water with many political groups. But he’s right: how can we progress unless we try to be “weird.” What’s weird today is common tomorrow. Most underground artists are not appreciated today, but later we found that they were on to something, and a whole new generation take inspiration from them.

Why are shows like Two and a Half Men constantly panned by critics and audiences alike? They offer nothing new. That show has been using the same storylines since the first season, and people who want something easy to digest go for it. But nobody sees the end of an episode and goes “Oh my god, that was great. I’m so glad I watched it.” They’ve hit a comfort zone and chose to stick with it, cause as long as it draws a paycheck, why try to expand your medium? As opposed to Arrested Development, Firefly or Venture Brothers, all of whom go out and try to do something different, not really getting mainstream approval but giving inspiration to others. At the end of the day, that’s all you can really hope for…not that you got fame, or your idea was well liked, but that your idea inspired someone.

These shows are great because they tell a story. That’s why those who find these gems can latch onto characters that are created. These characters aren’t stereotypes, put into the same situations that have been seen on shows for decades and used to push certain products or beliefs. That’s part of the reason I’m not really behind a lot of green media. It all sounds the same; someone telling me to go change my lightbulbs to energy efficient ones and not to eat certain types of meat because they’re corn fed, with a stern voice that talks down to me and reads like a school announcement. They have an image to protect, especially if they’re a well known blogger(whatever the hell that means), so they can’t really go out and be crazy. There is no story behind what they’re selling, cause it’s simply another podcast or audiocast where they push the same ideas that everyone else is pushing with no real passion or anything. Whether they follow a checklist or standard or not, formulas lead to boring routines that keep away everyone who isn’t dedicated to the cause. It’s even worse when they’re fumbling around.

I’ll go out of my comfort zone with the following declaration: Professional wrestling is scripted. Matches have predetermined outcomes and they pick spots before the match. But, if the story they tell in the ring is compelling, it is worth watching. It’s hard to bring in a non-wrestling fan into the culture, but many use the match between Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 21 to show them what wrestling has to offer. Considered one of the best matches of the past decade, it shows what happens when two performers go to another level, out of their comfort zones and try to one-up each other in technical prowess and big moves.They aren’t trying to fight one another(well, they are) but rather are telling a story and doing a great job of selling their pain. Each part, the intros, exchanges, near falls and especially the finish are at a high caliber and keep the crowd into it.

The audience can have three reactions following a match:

  1. They can show indifference.
  2. They can cheer that it’s over. OR
  3. They can cheer because it was awesome and they were glad they got a chance to see it.

That is how the fans reacted after HBK-Angle. They were esctatic becaus they saw something that was genuine and told a story that they didn’t want to see end, but were happy they got to come along for the ride. Even the fans chanting “You Suck” were doing so out of respect. These two know the art of storytelling. It’s something we in the field of communication should take note of. Any good podcast can get listened to, but a great podcast will bring you in and make you want to keep coming back. Even if we don’t hit our mark the first time, if we do leave our all in the ring, at least we can say we tried, and the audience will respect that. We tried to go over the edge, tried to progress our medium, and we will most likely fail now, but in inspiring our audience, our message will mean much more than a win or loss.

And they will stand up and applaud our efforts at the end of the semester, not because it’s over, but because we did our best, and they were glad they were the select few who could bear witness to it.

FANCY Effects…

February 22, 2011

This video I came across, “Snowflakes are Dancing (audio slide show)” gives an extremely elaborate example of the numerous “Fancy” digital video effects that we were shown in class last Thursday. I think if we were to go this over board on our audio slide shows, it would certainty take away from the messages we are trying to get out there, and really distract the audience viewing the piece. So although it may look cool or “trippy?” I believe the use of many effects such as this should be limited to a more reasonable amount. Although, the purpose of this video was much different from our class’s goals.

Something else I came across when inputting “audio slide show” on google. How to make an audio slide show! haha! I think we pretty much got these basics covered, and are way ahead of the came to say the least! Just goes to show the beauties of such a class as this.

So this class is teaching us to use a specific method to portray environmental issues. It can be considered a type of social networking as well since we’re blogging and putting our products on Youtube. But what is our ultimate goal? It’s not to get A’s or to make Caron happy or to pass the class or to graduate (although those are all really good things that should also come out of this course), but what we want to come of all of this tedious editing and fine-tuning is CHANGE. Yep, we’re doing all of this hard work because we want people to start recycling, stop driving to campus, and ditch the plastic water bottles to start using reusables and filling stations. We want to spur behavioral change, hell… why not even start a revolution?

 

Social networking might seem run of the mill over here in the US of A, but over in places like say, Egypt, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are just starting to make a big difference in peoples’ lives. The revolution that just occurred in the country was credited in large part to Facebook groups started by Egyptian youth which organized the protests that began on January 25th. In just a few weeks time, Murabak’s 30 year presidency had ended all because of social organization conducting through social networking. People were SO grateful for the powers of social networking, that this one guy even named his newborn daughter FACEBOOK. Facebook Ibrahim… has a nice ring to it, eh? I wonder what her middle name is…

 

Well, yes this is slightly weird; but it is also pretty darn cool that one website changed the fate of an entire country. This brings me to the point that we are doing a good thing here. We are using social networking to bring about change,. just like the youth in Egypt did – and check out how well that worked out for them! So, when you are frustrated with these assignments, as I am now and I’m sure we all have been or will be at some point this semester… just think of all the good that will come out of this social networking for change that we’ve been working so hard on. Maybe we’ll make such a difference that a dude in Egypt will even name his next baby Podcasting Spring 11 Ibrahim…. one can only hope.

Thursday Class

February 20, 2011

Hi. Does anyone know what is expected of us on Thursday? Is there anything due besides a cleaner version of our audio and having photos?

Yay, Something Environmental.

February 20, 2011

Naomi Klein on BP oil disaster, American culture and our addiction to name brands.

There’s a good amount of coverage on climate change, economics, politics, and science. This post isn’t meant to be shown in class but its a speech worth listening to.

-JC