Get Happy By Being Alone

I chose this narrative video because it surprised me the first time I watched it.  The title seemed trite.  It started slowly, but a friend introduced it to me and I really respected her opinion so I watched anyway.  I find it as moving now as I did the first time I saw it.  I watch it every so often to take a few minutes to just relax or attempt to meditate or to remind myself to be mindful.  It’s not so much about “being alone” as it is about inner peace or just simply choosing to be happy, which is a great choice!

A video by filmmaker, Andrea Dorfman, and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis.

Davis wrote the poem and performed in the video which Dorfman directed, shot, and edited.  The animation in the video was hand-drawn and scanned and edited using Adobe After Effects (Pretty advanced stuff, but cool to note).

The video depicts scenes of Davis’ poem simultaneous to her narration.  This allows for the message to be conveyed easily.  The lighting in the video is bright.  The audio of her voice is calm and soothing.  It’s like listening to her poem at a reading.  These techniques help convey a sense of solitude and peacefulness.

She begins with a small analysis of being alone, making her way through different instances of alone-ness. She builds on that idea as the video progresses, and eventually, the narrative touches on society’s view of being alone, and how that affects the common perception that it is not okay to be alone.  She also states that we are all inherently alone, different (“All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relieved”).  By embracing this idea, Davis informs the viewer that being alone is simply about being at peace with one’s self.

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Embedding a Google map into your website.

In this DIY post, I’d like to show everyone how to embed a Google map into your website using HTML. This is surprisingly quick because Google has made it quite simple for us.  To map a specific location on your page, go to maps.google.com.  Search whichever place or address you’d like to have a map for.  I chose to share the Cathedral of Learning, the site of our class meetings. You can also do this using the following website:  http://www.embedgooglemap.com/

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At the top left of the screen, you’ll notice this icon: Image.  Clicking this will give the user the option to copy and paste the map HTML and embed into his website.

When pasted into the index of your site, the HTML will display the map just like this.

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The map has the same functions on your page as it does on maps.google.com.  From here, you can click to search the map, get directions, etc.  Now, this is the simplest way of embedding a map on your page.  In another DIY post, I hope to learn to and then share how to embed Google maps that have an even greater functionality on your page.  Information on doing so can be found here: http://code.google.com/apis/maps/index.html and here: http://maps.google.com/help/maps/getmaps/plot-one.html.

 


Bad Lip Reading

I wanted to share and analyze Bad Lip Reading.  For political junkies, or anyone that might appreciate a good spoof of some popular musicians, this website is something you might enjoy.  It’s also relevant because it is a website made using a social media website.

For those of you unfamiliar with the website, BadLipReading is a Youtube channel website that spoofs music videos and politicians by overdubbing vocal audio in a humorous way.  It began doing so with music videos and later added politicians, which it is more prominently recognized for.  It’s been mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine, Funnyordie.com, and The Rachel Maddow Show to name a few.  The website is simple and intuitive and can be found at badlipreading.tumblr.com.

The website has a Title heading at the top of the page, and a tab with links to their different social media and video sites to the left including YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, etc.  They also allow for feedback and even sell merchandise.  The videos are embedded in the center of the page and you can scroll through from the most recently uploaded to the oldest.  There are also links to “share” any of the videos on your personal Twitter of Facebook pages.

The “Bad Lip Reader” behind the channel is an anonymous Texas-based music and video producer.  In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said he got the idea from his mother, who went deaf at the age of 40.  She was great at lip-reading, but he never developed the skill.  It’s interesting in the context of our course to note that the creator of this media used the social media site Tumblr (much as we are using social media sites) to reach millions of people with his creation and also chose to remain anonymous in doing so – just another example of the importance and wide reach of social media.

Enjoy!