Living Death

The “changing same” is an interesting concept – the idea of offering iterations of versions and versions of everything, all change all the time. When I hear, read, or eat something I like, my immediate reaction seems to be to keep hearing, reading, eating OR to go out and find something similar. I want to recreate the experience, granted, every now and then I might be daring enough to add some variation to it. I don’t know that I ever think, “Oh, I really like this chocolate cake. Now I want to go out and find something else that is completely different than this cake.” I feel like I am constantly searching for similarities and connections, whether I realize it or not.

But then there are the people who just don’t like chocolate cake (weirdos). They don’t like any of the options on the menu, actually. So they go out deep into the Amazon or somewhere in Mongolia and start cooking with ingredients that no one has ever heard of. DJ Spooky calls these people “science fiction geeks.” (Or something like that.) Spooky says, “It’s been said that science fiction is the literature of alienation, a genre for those who don’t relate to the world as it currently stands, for those who want to create alternative zones of expression. These are the people that need more than what the world is currently handing them, so they rely on their imagination for sustenance.

Here’s what’s funny about all that…a few days ago in class, we watched a video all about how different science fiction movies totally rip off each other’s effects, all the way down to the upward-moving credits. So even the “most original” are struggling to come up with their own stuff.

So my question is this, are we on our own when it comes to making something that’s different and avoiding the “changing same?” Is our imagination the only place that we will ever be able to create something that is truly unique?



Two Guys in a Surrealistic Multidimensional Space

You know what the craziest thing about this video was? I literally had to go back and watch it like three times in order to pay close attention to the sound in the background. BUT THAT IS WHAT MAKES IT INCREDIBLE.

The sounds took me on this adventure so many times that I forgot that there weren’t violins playing in the background of the Radiolab meeting. I forgot that upbeat music doesn’t just start playing when people are in a happy moment. I forgot that it wasn’t real life. And I forgot it three freaking times.

Anyway, once I started to pay close attention to what I was hearing, I started to get a better grasp on what the sounds were doing for me as an audience member. The different musical tones both influenced and mirrored my feelings about what I was seeing on the screen. I felt happy when the staff was laughing together, and the happy music not only increased my happiness, but helped me to realize that I was happy in the first place.

I love that they left in the parts where Jad and Robert were talking over each other. When I first heard it, I thought that might have been something that they would have taken out, because it sounds a little sloppy. But the more that I thought about it, the more that I realized how much that overlapping sound said about Jad and Robert, you know, the kind of people who they were. They were both so excited to start talking. They are enthusiastic about the message that they are delivering. They feel comfortable enough with each other that they don’t feel the need to pause and look at the other person to see if he would like to go first. It was so real.

That’s what I want to go for in my own audio documentary. I want it to be real. But not in the sense that I just leave in every part of my day, not editing anything. In the sense that the sounds really tell my audience something about me. If I’m talking to my professor and I seem nervous because I’m asking about a grade, then I want that nervousness to come through…and that may mean keeping a few “likes” and “ums” in there. I also want to demonstrate my relationships with different people, based on the tones of our voices, the sounds around us, and so on. Are we running to the bus stop, so you can hear our breath quicken? Are we going out to the bar, so you can hear the glasses clinking?

Just some thoughts.


Cleaning Up Your Code

So when I first starting working through my website code, I had a really hard time keeping the code organized. I wouldn’t indent or line anything up. It looked something like this:

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 8.14.05 PM




Not cute, right?


Luckily, I discovered SUCH an easy way to clean up the code. All you have to do is go to the Command tab and click Apply Source Formatting (as shown in the photo below).

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 8.19.11 PM



Once you do that, your code looks much cleaner and is SO much easier to navigate through. Your code should look something like this after you apply the source formatting:

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 8.21.08 PM


Much better, right? So simple, but can really help you make sure that you are closing all your brackets, adding the backslashes, etc.

Happy coding!



Love at first click.

I browsed through A TON of websites. But seriously. I found on page 87 of See for yourself:

It was love at first click.

Black Negative uses its website to show off their work of branding and marketing. They SHOW you what they do at the same time they are TELLING you what they do. I’ll explain more of this a little later.

This page was unique. And I don’t mean regular unique. I mean it’s a uniquely unique page. You start out here:


And then you are instructed to click and drag to find out more about what is. The navigation is so simple, but it stands out so much from your typical up and down scrolling navigation. Another thing that is great about this navigation and layout, is that the viewer is getting a different experience with every click and drag…there is literally no room for boredom or loss of interest. You want to keep looking because you have absolutely no idea what could be next. No worries if you get lost though. If you want to go back to another page, just click the “menu” item at the bottom, and you can scroll through to find your desired page (see picture below)


All that being said, there really isn’t that much cohesiveness to the whole layout. Since every page is different, the viewer is always looking at different fonts, alignments, and so on. What I think is so great about Black Negative is that each slide utilizes different methods of design to draw in the viewer. For example, on the slide that I have pictured below, you aren’t just getting photographs; there is video and music as well. Everything about the page helps you to jump into that individual atmosphere. You get totally sucked in…until you go to the next slide and then you are somewhere else entirely.


I suppose that there is a certain amount of similarity between the slides. The colors are all soft, there is a lot of transparency and layovers. Nothing screams out at you, everything is more like a lullaby. I know this all sounds pretty cheesy, but once you check out the site, you’ll probably understand what I mean. 


Get a flawless face in Photoshop.

If you’re anything like me, one of the most annoying things about closeup photos is seeing all of your pores, blemishes, and shiny parts around your face. Luckily, it is super easy to get hide those flaws using the eyedropper and brush tools in Photoshop.

This is the photo before editing. Ew shiny.

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 10.31.39 PM


The first step is to use the eyedropper tool to select an area that you like (aka an area without shiny sweat).

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 10.32.26 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 10.32.11 PM

Then select the brush tool and paint over the shiny skin with that color – but here’s the real trick, set the opacity of that color to 15%. This creates the perfect coverup.

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 10.32.44 PMScreen Shot 2013-10-02 at 10.34.06 PM


This picture I have used the brush tool on the left side of my face, clear difference, way less shine.

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 10.33.37 PM

Make sure that you are doing all of this work on a blank layer. If not, you won’t be able to control the opacity and how much of the effect that you want to add.

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 10.31.56 PM


The final product should look something like this:

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 10.34.12 PM Way better than –> Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 10.31.39 PM

Happy Photoshopping!